|Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah) woodii (wood'-ee)|
Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden, Kaneohe, Oahu, Hawaii. Photo by Preston
Habitat and DistributionHawaiian Is. Moist to wet forest in Waihoi and Kipahulu Valleys, East Maui, Hawaii,
Solitary, to 15 m tall; trunk 20-25 cm in diam., grayish, longitudinally grooved. Leaves 15-20, erect to spreading; leaf bases tapering to 25 cm wide distally; petioles 60-105 em long, 3.5-4.5 cm wide at blade, flat distally, toward base becoming convex adaxially and rounded abaxially, a faint stripe or rib extending adaxially throughout its length, margins sharp (sword-like), green with white to tan mealy indumentum abaxially on margins extending onto folds of blade, 5-44 proximally with aggregated ribbon-like appendages and only sparsely to moderately fibrous; blade 80-130 x 100-145 cm, subcircular, costapalmate for 20-35 cm, hastula semicircular, 0.5-8 cm high, 4 cm Wide, sharp, blade divided into 55-70 segments, middlelateral ones the largest, 85-115 x 5 cm, most proximal ones smallest, 20-45 x 0.5-1 cm, middle-lateral segments with tips free for 35 cm and bifid for 25 cm, most proximal segment with tips free for 20-25 cm and bifid for 12 cm, tips rigid, long-acuminate, glossy light green and glabrous adaxially except for white mealy indumentum on folds, similar abaxially but moderately dotted with faint, minute, irregularly shaped, tan to whitish lepidia. Inflorescences 5-7 interfoliar, 75-135 cm long, erect and shorter than or equaling petioles in flower, arching or nodding and exceeding petioles but shorter than leaf blades in fruit, composed of 1 or 2 long axes each terminating in a compact panicle; axes 65-120 cm long, slender, 1.8-3 cm wide and 1.1 cm thick at base with prophyll, 1-2 cm wide at apex and flattened, densely covered with grayish brown, short, velvety hairs under bracts; prophyll 25 x 7.5 cm, marescent at tip, flattened and bicarinate at base, 7-8 peduncular bracts, these 15-40 cm long, longest proximally, shortest distally, tightly sheathing proximally, expanded and boat-like distally, papery, brown, uppermost extending onto and partially concealing panicle, all bracts with scurfy, deciduous indumentum; panicle densely branched to 2 orders, 15-22 cm long, rachis 10-15 cm long, proximal branches with sub-peduncle to 2.5 cm long, sub-rachis 1.5 cm long, and with 5-8 rachillae, distal branches simple rachillae, 20-25 rachillae total, rachillae 8-13 cm long, 2 mm in diam. in flower, 3-3.5 mm in diam. in fruit, stiff, strongly flexuose, narrowly diverging (45 degrees or less) from rachis, densely covered in flower and fruit with short, velvety hairs, these white to grayish in flower, brownish in fruit. Flowers densely placed in 1 or 2 spiralling rows 3-5 mm apart, flowers 2 or 3 mm apart within a row, very strongly slanted or disposed distally, sometimes nearly reclining, in prominent clefts 1.5 mm deep, each cleft with a filamentous bracteole 4 or 5 mm long subtending the flower proximally; flowers at anthesis 9-10 x 7-10 mm, greenish yellow; calyx 5 mm high, coriaceous, greenish proximally, yellowish green distally, sepals imbricate at apex, mucronate; corolla tube about equaling calyx, lobes 6 x 3 mm, lanceolate, acute, light yellowish, prominently nerved adaxially, faintly nerved abaxially; staminal tube amber to brownish, exserted 1 mm above calyx, stamens spreading, borne on filaments 1 or 2 mm long, anthers 4 mm long, oblong, medifixed dorsally about 1/3 from their base, spreading flat; pistil 6-7 x 2 or 3 mm, spindle-shaped, ovary 2.5 x 2 mm, style 3.0-3.5 mm long, yellowish, exserted 2 or 3 mm above staminal ring, columnar, truncate apically. Fruits (not yet fully ripe) 45-50 x 5-46 40-45 mm, ovoid to ellipsoid, greenish, sometimes warty. (Hodel, D. 2007)/Palmweb.
Pritchardia woodii is very similar to P. lanigera but the latter differs in the rachillae and rachis covered with woolly indumentum. It is also somewhat similar to P. arecina, which occurs not too far to the northeast and north in East Maui but in slightly wetter areas; P. arecina, however, differs in having leaf blades completely covered abaxially with lepidia and petioles with an abundance of fibers proximally. (Hodel, D. 2007)/Palmweb.
This palm prefers a sunny, well drained, and moist location.
"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 loulus 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. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi." (Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff)
Loulu are prone to leaf rollers, red spider mites and sugar cane borers. Rats will eat its fruit. (Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff)
Pritchardia woodii is an easy to grow palm but not often available for the landscape. Pritchardia woodii 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: Pritchardia name is dedicated to William Thomas Pritchard (1829-1907), British official stationed in Fiji in the 19th Century, British counsul in Fiji, adventurer, and author of Polynesian Reminiscences in 1866. The epithet honors Ken Wood, field botanist for the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kauai, and prodigious collector of Hawaiian Pritchardia, including two of the paratypes of this species. (Hodel, D. 2007)/Palmweb.
Conservation: Potential threats include invasive plant species such as Clidemia hirta and Rubus rosifolius and pigs and rats. The conservation status of P. woodii is probably best considered endangered because of the small number of mature palms and the threats to their survival. It is cultivated at Hoomaluhia and Wahiawa Botanical Gardens of the Honolulu Botanical Gardens system on Oahu. (Hodel, D. 2007)/Palmweb.
"Similar to Pritchardia arecina, and occuring in the same habitat / location, but undersides of leaves not tomentose." (Forest & Kim Starr)
- 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.