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Euphorbia celastroides var. stokesii | by D.Eickhoff
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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.





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.

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Taken on February 28, 2011