`Ekoko - Center For Plant Conservation
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Plant Profile

`Ekoko (Euphorbia celastroides var. kaenana)

This picture shows details of the leaves on the branches. Photo Credit: Nellie Sugii
  • Global Rank: T1 - Critically Imperiled
  • Legal Status: Federally Endangered
  • Family: Euphorbiaceae
  • State: HI
  • Nature Serve ID: 159287
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 02/10/1987

Chamaesyce celastroides is by far the most variable and widespread of all Hawaiian Chamaesyce and is separated into 8 varieties (Wagner et al. 1999). One of the varieties of Chamaesyce celestroides is kaenana, which is a rare and endangered beach plant from O`ahu. It grows as a shrub or small tree that have compact lateral branches. Its flowers can be found tucked close or in the leaf axis. Chamaesyce celestroides var. kaenana is only found in 10 populations on the island of O`ahu with nine out of the 10 populations having less than 25 individuals. Specific efforts are needed immediately to protect the remaining extant populations from extinction.

Where is `Ekoko (Euphorbia celastroides var. kaenana) located in the wild?


Grows in coastal dry shrubland on windward talus slopes at an elevation of 9 to 640 meters (USFWS 1998)


O`ahu- Kaena Point, Alau gulch, Waianae Kai, and Keawaula (USFWS 1998).

States & Provinces:

`Ekoko can be found in Hawaii

Which CPC Partners conserve `Ekoko (Euphorbia celastroides var. kaenana)?

CPC's Plant Sponsorship Program provides long term stewardship of rare plants in our National Collection. We are so grateful for all our donors who have made the Plant Sponsorship Program so successful. We are in the process of acknowledging all our wonderful plant sponsorship donors on our website. This is a work in progress and will be updated regularly.

Conservation Actions

  • 09/11/2020
  • Propagation Research

Propagation by cuttings and seed in the greenhouse and in vitro. (USFWS 1998) and (N. Sugii, pers. comm. 2001)

  • 09/11/2020
  • Reintroduction

Reintroduction at Kaena Point

Nature Serve Biotics
  • 05/02/2017

This taxon is known to be extant only on the northwestern end of the Waianae Mountains, Oahu. It was also collected once in the Koolau Mountains of Oahu in the 1800's. The estimated less than 600 individuals remaining are threatened by alien plants and fire.

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Competition with alien plants. Fire. Effects of recreational activities. (USFWS 1998).

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

10 populations, less than 200 individuals (USFWS 1998, 2001).

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Propagation by cuttings and seed in the greenhouse and in vitro. (USFWS 1998) and (N. Sugii, pers. comm. 2001)

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Restriction of off road vehicles at Kaena Point. Reintroduction at Kaena Point. Weeding. (USFWS 1998) In April, 2002, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service determined that a designation of critical habitat was prudent for this species. (USFWS 2002)

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Control competing alien plant species. Fire protection. Outplanting. (USFWS 1998)

David Orr
  • 01/01/2010

Propagation. Seed banking and germplasm storage. Genetic studies. Physiological studies. (USFWS 1998)


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Taxon Euphorbia celastroides var. kaenana
Authority Sherff
Family Euphorbiaceae
CPC Number 6150
ITIS 535318
Common Names Akoko | `ekoko | Euphorbia celastroides var. kaenana | Euphorbia celastroides var. niuensis
Associated Scientific Names Chamaesyce celastroides var. kaenana | Euphorbia celastroides var. kaenana
Distribution O`ahu- Kaena Point, Alau gulch, Waianae Kai, and Keawaula (USFWS 1998).
State Rank
State State Rank
Hawaii S1
Ecological Relationships

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Bee Confirmed Pollinator Link
Butterflies & Moths
Moth Confirmed Pollinator Link
Fly Confirmed Pollinator Link

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