Rumex albescens

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Huʻahuʻakō

Hawaiian Names

  • Huahuako

Common Names

  • Dock
  • Oʻahu dock
  • Sorrel


  • Rumex giganteus var. hirsutus

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Non-Woody, Spreading
  • Partially Woody / Shrub-like

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

No data available.

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container
  • Ground Cover

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type


Flower Colors

  • Greenish-White

Additional Flower Color Information

Huʻahuʻakō produce a flurry of yellowish-green flowers which may be considered showy.

Blooming Period

  • Sporadic

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Coarse

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green
  • Medium Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

Leaf color ranging from light to medium, or even dark, green seems to be affected by the amount of sun, as if the case with many other plants in general.

leaf Pests and Diseases

leaf Growth Requirements

Pruning Information

Pruning does not seem to be an issue with this plant. But spent flower/fruiting stalks and leaves can be cut off for a cleaner appearance.

Water Requirements

  • Dry
  • Moist

Additional Water Information


Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Huʻahuʻakō apears to do best with early morning to semi-shaded conditions, but tolerates full sun for brief periods. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Spacing Information

Plant about six or more feet apart to allow for its sprawling habit. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]


  • Drought
  • Brackish Water
  • Salt Spray


  • Cinder
  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Kauaʻi
  • Oʻahu
  • Northwest Islands

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 150 to 1000, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 1000 to 1999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 2000 to 2999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 3000 to 3999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 4000 to 4999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

Huʻahuʻakō is found in scattered locations from 590 (on Nīhoa) to 4000 feet on Kauaʻi and Oʻahu (Waiʻanae Mts.) in mesic forest. It also found on cliff faces and dry shrubland with other dominant natives ʻāweoweo (Chenopodium oahuense), ʻilima (Sida fallax), and pōpolo (Solanum nelsonii) in lower elevations on Nīhoa. [1]

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Rumex is a genus of about 200 species in the Buckwheat family or Polygonaceae. There are three native species of Rumex endemic to the Hawaiian Islands.

Additionally, there are at least five alien introductions, some weedy.


The generic name Rumex, rumicis, in Pliny for sorrel, is an ancient Latin name for the plants of the genus.

The specific epithet albescens is Latin for "turning white."

Background Information

Rumex albescens is a variable species. Nīhoa plants occur in lower elevation, more xeric habitats and are correspondingly smaller and less pubescent (with hairs); Kauaʻi plants are usually moderately pillose (long, straight hairs); and Oʻahu plants vary greatly from subglabrous (almost smooth) to nearly as pubescent as Kauaʻi plants.

Early Hawaiian Use


Additional References

[1] "Natural History of Nihoa and Necker Islands" by Neal L. Evenhuis, pages 75, 192.



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This record is as complete as we can generate for this plant profile at this point. Please email if you wish to contribute to the data. Please include sources and references for all data submitted