What is this Funky Weed? *Update* It’s an “ali`ipoe” (Mahalo Kuhao Zane)

I just noticed this funky looking weed growing in my backyard:

Weird Weed

I have heard that anything with spikes on it is a non-native plant.  This buggah has some mean looking spikes on it:

Close-up of weird weed

Does anyone know what this is?  Better yet… is it edible?


I asked what this weed was on Twitter, and less then 5 minutes later, Sig Zane’s son Kuhao responded with the answer I was looking for.

“Actually its not a weed….. Its called ali`ipoe…. Its used in the uli uli(rattle) for hula. wait for the pods to turn brown”

If anyone would know what it is… it is Kuhao. Thanks Kuhao.

Kuhao also asked the following question on twitter the other day:

“…If sig zane were to do a few totally new products, what would you like to see.”

I’d love to see a Sig Zane line of Dress Shorts come out.

One Response

  1. For a long time I pestered just about every agriculture person I could about this plant. I guess my description was bad. No one knew what it was, till I saw some growing in Waipio Valley and a taro farmer told me what it was.

    Let me warn you, those things can get pretty entrenched, especially if you have soil and nothing to hold it back. When I first saw them growing, with their attractive leaves and nice yellow flower (at first)… I let them grow. Then they got bigger and bigger, and the “pods” let loose those b-b-pellet type seeds, and they nearly took over my backyard. When I dig one up, half the ground comes up too, since it grows in tightly bunched, little bulb-like roots.

    I must say the farmers in Waipio Valley had them under control though. I think they, unlike myself, know what they are doing.

    Thanks for posting.

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