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Learning More About the Gossypium Tomentosum in Oahu, HI

Posted By: Leah Austin

One of the Hawaiian plants that is a joy to grow is the huluhulu plant, also known as the maʻo plant. Its genus is Gossypium and its species is tomentosum. Its common name is the Hawaiian cotton plant. In fact, this native cotton plant literally helped save the cotton industry in modern times. When the plant is crossed with other cotton strains, the hybrids ward off destroying pests.

Therefore the Gossypium tomentosum in Oahu, HI is distinctive historically. The shrub grows to two to six feet with dwarf varieties growing less than two feet in height. A mature maʻo plant has a spread of about six feet. This is one of the longer-lived plants as it can be maintained for over five years.

Landscape Uses

Landscape uses for the Gossypium tomentosum include the following:

  • As a ground cover (the dwarf varieties)
  • As a hedge
  • As an accent plant
  • In a container

You will find that this plant is an ideal landscape shrub as long as you control pests and provide it with full sun. You should also take care not to overwater the plant. Therefore, do not place the Gossypium tomentosum near a sprinkler system. An overwatered maʻo will display an unattractive black mold on its trunk, stem, and leaves.

Added Visual Interest

The plant presents vibrant yellow flowers and a silver-hued to light green foliage with a unique leaf shape. Therefore, the Hawaiian cotton plant adds visual interest to a yard or a patio. Companion plants that are planted alongside the huluhulu plant include coastal shrubs and dry forest-type plants.

An Easy-to-Maintain Plant

The yellow flowers, which are considered showy, regularly bloom during the summer, fall, and winter. After the blooming period, the plant releases brown capsules that contain fuzzy light brown seeds. Once established, the maʻo may be pruned to control the height or spread. Because this is a xeric shrub, mulch can be used to retain moisture in the plant.

Where to Obtain Further Details Online

You can learn even more information about the maʻo plant when you visit hawaiiannativeplants.com online.

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