Hui Ohana – Sweet Lei Mokihana

Mokihana Berry

Mokihana is a shrub-like plant or multi-trunked small tree varying in height anywhere from 6 to 25 feet. Mokihana is native to the Garden Isle of Kaua’i, abundant on the slopes of Mount Wai’ale’ale.

The stem bark of the mokihana is smooth and has a grayish-brown color with a reddish tint. The twigs are smooth and light brown. The bright green leathery leaves are oval shaped with a pointed end.

Although not a flower, the MOKIHANA is the Official Flower representing the Island of Kaua’i.

The fruit of the mokihana plant is a squarish bead-like berry. The berry is mostly light green in color, some having a shade of yellow and red. Although it is a berry and not a flower the mokihana fruit is the Official Flower of Kaua’i. It is a favorite lei making material throughout Kaua’i and all of Hawai’i. Threaded mokihana berrys complemented by mokihana leaves make beautiful leis.

The most distinctive quality of the mokihana is it’s wonderful scent. The pungent anise fragrance of the berrys, crushed leaves and twigs can last for years.

Ancient Hawaiians adorned mokihana leis and used it’s scent as a perfume.

Sweet Lei Mokihana

The Hawaiian song entited “Sweet Lei Mokihana” was composed by George Manoa Huddy. Above version performed by the legendary group “Hui Ohana” from the Kalapana area of the Big Island.