Euphorbia celastroides var. stokesii
[syn. Chamaesyce celastroides var. stokesii]
ʻAkoko, ʻekoko, koko, or kōkōmālei
Euphorbiaceae (Spurge family)
Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands (Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Molokaʻi, and Kahoʻolawe)
Photo: Kīlauea Lighthouse, Kīlauea Point National Wildlife Refuge, Kauaʻi
The name ʻakoko comes from the Hawaiian word koko for blood. They get their name from the red, or blood-colored, seed capsules appearing as drops of blood on the plant on some varieties and species. www.flickr.com/photos/dweickhoff/4839128621/
The generic name Euphorbia is classically supposed to have been named for Euphorbus, a physician to the king of Mauretania in the first century A.D. (C.E.).
The specific epithet celastroides means "resembling Celastrus," a genus of shrubs and vines commonly known as staff vines, staff trees or bittersweet.
The varietal name, stokesii, was named for John Francis Gray Stokes (1876-1960), American photographer, genealogist, archaeologist and a plant collector in the Hawaiian Islands and Polynesia.