Only found in the smaller Hawaiian Islands (and nowhere else in the world!), Ma'o (also known as Huluhulu) is a plant of many gifts. Not only does it produce a unique form of orange/brown cotton, it's attractive yellow flowers are also used to make a beautiful green dye for kapa. Both the seeds and flowers are used for making Hawaiian leis, and the cotton for stuffing pillows.
Although it is now extinct on Kauia, Ma'o actually saved the American cotton industry decades ago, when it was hybridized with commercial white cotton. Farmers were losing record amounts of their cotton crops due to a massive caterpillar infestation. It turned out that when the two were bred together, the caterpillars feedings on the nectar of the plant didn't like the Ma'o as it didn't have the same flavor lactones, so they gave up and stopped attacking the new hybrid cotton.
Most importantly, Ma'o is a heritage plant with many practical, cultural and naturally medicinal uses.
Ma'o has gotten increasingly rare due to overdevelopment and deforestation on our islands, and is now threatened. You can help us revive the endemic native species by letting us plant one (or more!) for you. We are running a super sale on this plant so that we can afford to get more in the ground to revive the species.
Mahalo nui for your help!