Pipturus albidus

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Starr 030405-0099 Pipturus albidus.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Rosales
Family: Urticaceae
Genus: Pipturus
Species: P. albidus
Binomial name
Pipturus albidus
(Hook. & Arn.) A.Gray ex H.Mann

Pipturus albidus, known as māmaki (sometimes waimea, for its resemblance to olomea[1]) in Hawaiian and known as Waimea pipturus in English,[2] is a species of flowering plant in the nettle family, Urticaceae, that is endemic to Hawaiʻi. It inhabits coastal mesic, mixed mesic, and wet forests at elevations of 60–1,830 m (200–6,000 ft). Māmaki is a small tree that reaches a height of 9 m (30 ft) and a trunk diameter of 0.3 m (0.98 ft).[3]



Native Hawaiians made a treatment for illnesses known as ʻea and ʻaoʻao from the fruit.[4] They also combined fresh māmaki leaves with hot stones and spring water to produce herbal tea that was an effective treatment for general debility. Today, packages of dried māmaki leaves are commercially produced.[5]


The bast fibres were used by Native Hawaiians to make kapa (bark cloth) and kaula (rope).[4]


P. albidus is the preferred host plant for the caterpillars of the Kamehameha butterfly (Vanessa tameamea).[3] Māmaki sometimes host the caterpillars of the green Hawaiian blue (Udara blackburni).[6]


  1. ^ "Hawaiian-English Dictionary". University of Hawaii Press. 2003. Retrieved 2011-10-12. 
  2. ^ "Pipturus albidus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 6 October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). "Mamaki" (PDF). Common Forest Trees of Hawaii (Native and Introduced). United States Forest Service. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 
  4. ^ a b "mamaki, mamake, waimea (P. albidus on Kauai & P. ruber)". Hawaiian Ethnobotany Database. Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Retrieved 2009-11-16. 
  5. ^ Krauss, Beatrice H.; Martha Noyes (2001). Plants in Hawaiian Medicine. Bess Press. pp. 85–88. ISBN 978-1-57306-128-5. 
  6. ^ Scott, James A. (1992). The Butterflies of North America: A Natural History and Field Guide. Stanford University Press. p. 399. ISBN 978-0-8047-2013-7. 

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