|Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah) napaliensis (nah-pahl-ee-EN-sis)|
Limahuli Gardens, in the Limahuli Valley Part of NTBG, Kauai, Hawaii. Photo by Kyle Wicomb
Habitat and DistributionHawaii. Moist to wet forests on steep slopes, Napali Coast, Kauai, 150-600 m elevation.
To 10 m tall; proximal margins of petiole sparsely to moderately fibrous; leaf blade nearly flat, divided 1/2, abaxial surface incompletely covered with scattered lepidia,segment tips stiff or only slightly drooping in shade; inflorescences composed of 1-3 panicles, shorter than to equaling petioles in flower and fruit, panicles branched to 2 (or 3?) orders, rachillae glabrous; fruits 17-23 x 14-18 mm, ellipsoid. (iucn.org)
Pritchardia napaliensis is distinguished by its flat leaf blade incompletely covered abaxially with lepidia, inflorescences shorter than or equaling the petioles, and small fruits. Pritchardia napaliensis is similar in habit to P. minor and their ranges may overlap slightly but the latter differs in its ieaf blades completely covered abaxially with lepidia and the panicles permanently clothed with thick, pinkish brown, woolly indumentum. I am unable to find significant differences between Pritchardia napaliensis and P. limahuliensis after examining the types and liVing plants at the type localities of both species. Collections and cultivated plants from higher eievations in upper Limahuli Valley, which have been annotated or labeled as P. limahuliensis, have the abaxial leaf blade surface completely covered with lepidia and are best referred to P. perlmanii. (iucn.org)
Apply a complete palm fertilizer with minor elements as directed on label. Be certain that sufficient magnesium and potassium is present in the fertilizer component. This is especially critical for loulu's in pots. Magnesium and potassium deficiencies are two of the most serious nutritional disorders in palms. The deficiencies are characterized by bright yellowing (chlorotic) on leaf edges or streaking or the entire fronds yellowing. This can be difficult to reverse. Applications of Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), is good but does not last and is usually washed out of the soil in rainy periods. There are some very good slow release fertilizer spikes made for especially for palms on the market which contain a good balance of minor elements with magnesium and potassium. Potted or younger loulu planted in the ground appreciate a foliar feeding of kelp or fish emulsion and Epsom salt monthly or bi-monthly. (Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff)
"Mealybugs and whiteflies underneath the leaves can present problems at times if not kept in check. A generous spray of water can wash them off." (Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff)
"Loulu hiwa do best with frequent waterings to keep them moist." (Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff)
Pritchardia napaliensis is an easy to grow palm but not often available for the landscape. Pritchardia napaliensis vary in shape. Specimens raised in dry and/or infertile soils tend to be smaller in stature with smaller leaves. Light also affects the plant's form while those grown in full sun are more compact. This palm prefers a sunny, well drained, and moist location. Growth rate: It is a slow growing, short stocky palm. Soil: It likes organic soil, but is adaptable to clay and loam both slightly alkaline and acidic. Good drainage is also important. Fertilization: Need a perfect fertilizer diet including all micro nutrients and trace elements or slow release fertilizer. Micro-nutrient deficiencies are occasional problems. If it doesn't get enough Mn and Fe (Iron), the leaves take on a rather unhealthy yellow colour. Micro-nutrient deficiencies only show up on soil with a high pH. Fertilize often for faster growth. Water Requirements: Needs regular water, do not let dry out between waterings. however it does not want to sit in continually wet, mucky soil. The roots and lower trunk can rot if soil is kept too moist. Light: Prefers full sun but will tolerate half day sun. Hardiness: It is adapted to tropical and subtropical climates, young plants are more cold sensitive. Maintenance: Remove dead fronds and spent fruiting stalks for a clean landscape appearance. Fronds can be left on the palm to form a skirt for natural settings. Palms recycle nutrients from dead or dying fronds and use them for healthier fronds. Palms only have a set number of new leaves that can sprout and grow per year and removing fronds will not increase that number. If you cut off more than what will grow annually, you could be left with a pretty bare and bald palm. Pest & Disease: Mealybugs and whiteflies underneath the leaves can present problems at times if not kept in check. A generous spray of water can wash them off. Ornamental: It is cultivated as an ornamental tree, and planted in gardens and parks in tropical and sub-tropical climates either as a single specimen or in groups. Culture in containers is possible although growth rates are slower. A bright patio will provide an excellent environment for young specimens which can eventually be planted in a sunny location. (llifle.com)
Comments and Curiosities
Etymology: The generic name is named for William Thomas Pritchard (1829-1907), 19th century British counsul in Fiji, adventurer, and author of Polynesian Reminiscences in 1866. The specific epithet napaliensis is named after the Nā Pali Coast, Kauaʻi. (Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff)
Phenology: Flower; Bright Yellow, The yellow flowers are showy en masse. The black fruits are small (7/8 inch long and 3/4 inch). (Bill Chang)
Conservation: Critically Endangered, Found along the Napali coast. Fewer than 90 individuals are left in the wild. Regeneration is limited, mainly as a result of seed predation by rats and goats. (IUCN Red List.)
Uses: Fronds used by natives for thatching roofs, the wood was used for bowls and spears.
Apparently there seems to be little difference between this species and P. limahuliensis. Donald Hodel, palm specialist, has placed to two into Pritchardia napaliensis. Pritchardia napaliensis is closely allied to P. flynnii, P. hardyi, P. minor, P. perlmanii, and P. viscosa--all Kauaʻi species. P. napaliensis is similar in habitat to P. minor and their ranges may slightly overlap. The two are different with the underside leaves of P. minor being completely covered with lepidia, tiny fuzz-like material, and the panicles (fruit stems) thickly covered in pinkish brown wool. ("A Review of the Genus Pritchardia", pages S-3, S-8, S-11-12, S-37-38.)
- Glossary of Palm Terms
- MODERN BOTANICAL LATIN
- "Just To Be Clear"
Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.
Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.
Special thanks to Palmweb.org, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.
Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).
Hodel, D. 2007.
Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.