Plant of the Month: Maiapilo a xeriscape gem for lower elevations

  • The shrub form of maiapilo can grow to nearly 10 feet. (commonswikimedia.org via Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • If you can harvest and dry maiapilo seeds, you may be able to grow some new plants. (starrenvironmental.com via Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • The ripe fruit of the maiapilo can have an offensive odor. (starrenvironmental.com via Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • The maiapilo flowers begin to fade to a light pink just before mid-day after their nighttime display. (waikoloadryforest.org via Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

  • A single maiapilo flower (Capparis sandwichiana) provides a splash of color in the lava fields outside Kona. (Alan Tharp/Special to West Hawaii Today)

The winter months are often dryer than usual in Kona. Looks like the weather gods threw out the rulebook this year though. We are having lots of rain this dry season. Overall, however, we are well advised to plant our gardens in drought tolerant plants anticipating drier weather. Maiapilo is a native Hawaiian xeriscape gem to consider growing at lower elevations in Kona.