Naupaka kahakai (naupaka by the sea) is one of the most widely used of all native plants. Naupaka kuahiwi (in the mountains) is a mid to high elevation plant for the landscape. People often plant coastal naupaka kahakai on the makai side of the house and naupaka kuahiwi on the mauka side.
There are different versions of the naupaka legend, but all carry the same unhappy theme: lovers that are separated forever, one banished to the mountains, the other to the beach. Today you may notice the Naupaka flowers bloom in halves. It is said that when the flower from Naupaka Kuahiwi joins the Naupaka Kahakai both Hawaiian lovers are together once again.