Alyxia oliviformis, known as Maile (pronounced MY-lĕ) in Hawaiian, is a species of flowering plant in the dogbane family, Apocynaceae, that is native to Hawaii. It grows as either a twining liana, scandent shrub, or small erect shrub, and is one of the few vines that are endemic to the islands. The specific name means "chain resembling olive" in Latin. The leaves are usually ternate, sometimes opposite, and can have both types on the same stem. Flowers are quite inconspicuous and have a sweet and light fragrance of honey. The bark of the vine is most fragrant and exudes a slightly sticky, milky sap when punctured which is characteristic of the Apocynaceae family. The entire a plant contains coumarin, a sweet-smelling compound that is also present in vanilla grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum), woodruff (Galium odoratum) and mullein (Verbascum spp.). Fruit are oval and dark purple when ripe. Maile is a morphologically variable plant and the Hawaiian names reflect this (see Ethnobotany section).
The other day we took Maile to her first pediatric appointment. When we were checking in, the receptionist asked baby's name. I said, "Maile." She wrote it down and asked, "And last name?" I said, "Stevenson." She looked at me-- "What?"
"How do you spell that?"
And just to be fair and balanced, here's a bit about Rosie Jo's full name, Roselani:
The Roselani is the damask rose, brought over by missionaries, and now celebrated as the flower of Maui.
Ua kapu Roselani nau hookahi.
Reserved is roselani for you alone.
“Na Lei o Hawai‘i,” John Kelly, Jr., Folk Songs