Kio (Sida fallax - Malvaceae)

Description: This small prostrate, or erect, native shrub only grows to be about 1.5 m (5 ft) tall, depending to a large degree on the soil composition and amount of moisture available. The 3-9 cm (1-4 in) long leaves are light green and have a velvety, pubescent lower hairy surface. The flowers are yellow to pale orange.

Distribution: Kio is distributed from parts of tropical Asia to eastern Polynesia. It grows on rocky shores, sandy beaches, and sometimes in open forest areas. In the Marshall Islands it has been reported on most atolls, but is more common in the drier northern atolls. Kio is very common on Wake Island, which takes its Marshallese name, Enen Kio, from this plant.

Uses: Kio is cultivated around houses. The attractive flowers and leaves are used for ut and marmar leis (garlands).



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