`Awapuhi kuahiwi originates in India and was brought to Hawai’i by early polynesian settlers. The plant had many other medicinal purposes, which you can read about at Canoe Plants of Ancient Hawai’i.
I’ve seen wild `awapuhi kuahiwi growing in very wet areas, near waterfalls and streams, but my local nursery carries them also, so I planted several in the yard. They are a perennial, so they die completely back in the fall and winter, and make their reappearance in spring and summer. The stalks grow to about 4′ tall and each plant produces many of the juice filled flowers. They are very beautiful and useful!
Here is the actual plant. You will want to give the bud a little squeeze and if juice comes oozing out, you got a good one. The buds will eventually turn a bright red, but I found they have more juice while green.
Close up of flower and bud. The juice is in between the “scales.”
Even a light squeeze gives you lots of juice, don’t be shy.
This is a very weird photo of my giant hand, but you can see the clear juice from the flower. It has a very nice, light smell.
Now the fun part! Rub in your hair or on your skin. You can do this while in the shower, and rinse off, or post-shower while still wet, or any old time, even when your hair is dry, it gives it a nice smell and makes your hair and skin smooth.
I hope you get the chance to try it out!