This plant also known as big sage was brought to Hawaii as an ornamental plant quite a few years ago. Unfortunately, as has been the case with many other kinds of plants brought to the islands, it has proven to be invasive, and, to make matters worse, it is also poisonous to grazing livestock. Birds will eat the black, round berries (also poisonous to people if eaten) produced by the plant and thus spread seeds over a wide area, including pasture lands.
The flowers are produced in tight, umbel-like heads at the tips of the leafy shoots. Often there are several differently colored flowers in each inflorescence. For example, one might see yellow/orange/red flowers all together in a single inflorescence. The stems of the plant are 4-sided, and produce numerous short, but sharp tiny thorns along their length. The leaves have a rough feel to their surface, and emit a pungent odor when crushed. Older shrubs can attain a height of up to about 6 feet and a spread of 8 feet. Plants grow best in full sun. Locally, plants will bloom much more profusely if they are treated regularly with a miticide.
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Hakalau, Hawaii 96710 Have you Visited us in the Past?
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