Solanum sandwicense

Common Names:
Aiakeakua, Hawaiian horse-nettle, popolo, popolo'aiakeakua, Aiakeakua
Hook. & Arnott
Growth Habit:
Subshrub, Shrub
CPC Number:
Profile Contributors:
Fully Sponsored

Reference Links

ITIS - Tropicos - USDA Plants - Fish & WildLife

Participating Institutions

The following Participating Institutions are custodians for this species in the CPC National Collection:
National Tropical Botanical Garden

The conservation of Solanum sandwicense is fully sponsored.


There are two threatened Solanum species endemic to Hawaii (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [USFWS] 2001). Historically, Solanum sandwicense was known from 12 locations on the islands of Oahu and Kauai, but now 5 populations exist only on the island of Kauai. All populations of S. sandwicense have become extinct on Oahu due to urbanization, feral pigs, competition with introduced plants and from naturally occurring events such as landslides (USFWS 1995).

S. sandwicense, a member of the nightshade family (Solanaceae), is a large sprawling shrub that can grow up to 4 meters (13 ft) tall. This shrub has a trunk that can grow up to 15 centimeters (6 in) in diameter. With the exception of some young parts, the rest of the plant is very pubescent with yellowish stellate hairs that are dense on the lower leaves, and sparser on the upper surface. The flowers of S. sandwicense are perfect (having both male and female reproductive parts) that have bent peduncles so the flowers face downward. These actinomorphic (radially symmetrical) flowers have white erect filaments, yellow anthers, and a pale green stigma (Wagner et al. 1999).

Distribution & Occurrence


Conservation, Ecology & Research