An attractive bush seen commonly on Mauna Kea, this shrub is common across the dry cinder slopes and recent lava flows. Styphelia tameiameiae is a member of the family Epacridaceae the plant is found throughout the Hawaiian islands and is endemic to Hawaii and the Marquesas.
As you ascend the mountain pukiawe is one of the last plants you will see, growing at elevations up to 10,000ft. Along the Mauna Kea access road it is one of the most common plants dotting the mountainside. Large isolated bushes scattered widely among the gravel switchbacks above Hale Pōhaku.
Small, upright leaved are densely spaced on the branches. The small (5mm or 1/4in) red fruits are not edible. The leaves of the plant were used for medicinal purposes by the ancient Hawaiians.