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Canavalia hawaiiensis | by D.Eickhoff
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Canavalia hawaiiensis

ʻĀwikiwiki or puakauhi


Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands (Lānaʻi, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island)

Oʻahu (Cultivated)


Flowers used for lei making.


Early Hawaiians made roughly constructed fish nets and traps from stems and scoop nets probably made from ʻāwikiwiki vines for small rock paoʻo (blennies) and ʻopae (freshwater shrimps).


Another ʻāwikiwiki (Canavalia galeata) was specifically mentioned for medicinal purposes. An infusion of leaves, shoots and bark mixed with other plants as a bath for itch, ringworm and skin disorders.



The generic name Canavalia comes from the Indian kanavali, a common name for Canavalia maritima.


The specific name hawaiiensis refers to the island of Hawaiʻi, one of the islands where this species is found.


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Taken on February 6, 2009