Euphorbia celastroides var. celastroides
[syn., Chamaesyce celastroides var. celastroides]
ʻAkoko, ʻekoko, koko, or kōkōmālei
Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands
Oʻahu (Cultivated), Nīhoa form
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 current genus is Euphorbia, and 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.