Description of Plant:
Māmaki is a members of the Nettle Family (Urticaceae). The shrub can grow to diameters of 15+ feet and heights of 10 feet, mature trees can reach 15-30 feet in height. Their green leaves are course and range 2 – 12 inches. White to greenish flowers bloom on the leaf axis which resemble a small berry. Māmaki needs mulched and moist soil.
- Pipturus forbesii
Habitat & Elevation:
- Mamaki grows on all islands except Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe, typically on the edges of the understory of mesic and rain forests, from sea level to 4000 feet, sometimes to 6000 feet.
- This bushy plant has for centuries been honored by the Hawaiians for its’ medicinal qualities.
- The branches were used as bait for cowries.
- The fresh or dried leaves for mamaki tea have been used to help with many internal disorders such as for the stomach, colon, bladder, liver, bowels or used as a general tonic.
- Fruit is eaten as a laxative or for stomach, colon and digestive problems.