Singapore Government Logo

A Singapore Government Agency Website


Portulaca molokiniensis Hobdy

Family Name: Portulacaceae
Common Name: Molokini Portulaca, 'Ihi
Full Sun: 6-8h Little Water Ornamental Foliage Dry Soils / Drought


Family Name
Genus Epithet
Species Epithet
Name Authority
Common Names

Classifications and Characteristics

Plant Division Angiosperms (Flowering Seed Plants)
Lifespan (in Singapore) Perennial
Mode of Nutrition Autotrophic
Maximum Height 30 cm to 45 cm
Maximum Plant Spread / Crown Width 50 cm


Native Distribution Hawaii
Native Habitat Terrestrial
Preferred Climate Zone Tropical
Local Conservation Status 1 Exotic (Horticultural / Cultivated Only)

Description and Ethnobotany

Growth Form Succulent herb forming clumps of erect stems up to 45 cm tall.
Foliage Smooth, thick leaves are round. They are typically arranged in 4 neat columns in a cross-shaped pattern centered around the stem and clustered near the stem tips.
Stems Round, thick stem is about 1.9 cm wide.
Flowers Yellow, cup-shaped flowers are arranged in clusters at the stem tips.
Fruits Dry, dehiscent fruits are known as capsules. They are shaped like a tear drop and contain dark brown to black, slightly sticky seeds.
Habitat This rare species is native only to Hawaii and found in only 2 locations. It occurs on rocky slopes and at the base of sea cliffs.
Cultivation In Singapore, this plant needs air-conditioning to survive.

Landscaping Features

Desirable Plant Features Ornamental Foliage
Plant & Rootzone Preference - Tolerance Dry Soils / Drought, Well-Drained Soils
Thematic Landscaping Rockery / Desert Garden

Plant Care and Propagation

Light Preference Full Sun
Water Preference Little Water
Planting Remarks In Singapore, this species requires an air-conditioned environment.
Propagation Method Seed, Stem Cutting (Tip)


Foliage Retention Evergreen
Mature Foliage Colour(s) Green - Light Green
Mature Foliage Texture(s) Smooth, Thick
Foliar Type Simple / Unifoliate
Foliar Arrangement Along Stem Opposite
Foliar Attachment to Stem Sessile
Foliar Shape(s) Non-Palm Foliage (Orbicular / Round)
Foliar Margin Entire
Foliar Apex - Tip Rounded

Floral (Angiosperm)

Flower & Plant Sexuality 1 Bisexual Flowers
Flower Colour(s) Yellow / Golden
Individual Flower Shape Bowl-shaped

Fruit, Seed & Spore

Fruit Classification Simple Fruit
Fruit Type 1 Dehiscent Dry Fruit
Fruit Type 2 Capsule
Mature Seed Colour(s) Black, Brown
Mature Seed Texture(s) Sticky

Image Repository



Master ID 31932
Species ID 6334
Flora Disclaimer The information in this website has been compiled from reliable sources, such as reference works on medicinal plants. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment and NParks does not purport to provide any medical advice. Readers should always consult his/her physician before using or consuming a plant for medicinal purposes.
Species record last updated on: 20 April 2020.