Pritchardia beccariana

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Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah)
beccariana (bek-KAR-ee-ahn-ah)
8048897623 f17406cc32 k.jpg
Hawaiian rainforest. Photo by Metrosideros
Scientific Classification
Genus: Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah)
beccariana (bek-KAR-ee-ahn-ah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Costapalmate
Survivability index
Common names
Kilauea pritchardia. Loulu, 'Loulu' is pronounced low-loo. Loulu means "umbrella," because the leaves were formerly used as protection from rain or sun.

Habitat and Distribution

Pritchardia beccariana occurs on the northeastern and eastern slopes of
Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Olaa Forest Hawaii, Big Island. Photo by Dr. Eric White
Mauna Loa, on the Big Island of Hawaii, in wet forests between 300-1300 meters elevation.


Solitary fan leaved palm with large, flat, round leaves with shallowly divided leaf blades and stiff segment tips. This is one of the taller Pritchardias growing up to 20 meters tall. Inflorescences are shorter than or equal to the petiole length and the fruits are large, approximately 40 x 30-40 mm globose to ellipsoid.

To 20 m tall; proximal margins of petiole with slight to moderate fibers; leaf blade nearly flat, divided 1/5-1/4, abaxial surface incompletely covered with scattered lepidia, segment tips stiff; inflorescences composed of 2-4 panicles, shorter than or equaling petioles in flower and fruit (infrequently slightly exceeding petioles in fruit), panicles branched to 3 orders, rachillae glabrous to clothed with scurfy indumentum in flower, glabrous in fruit; fruits 40 x 30-40 mm, globose to ellipsoid/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Pritchardia beccariana is distinct in its large, flat, round, shallowly divided leaf blades incompletely covered abaxially with lepidia and with stiff segment tips, inflorescences shorter than or about equaling the petioles, and large fruits. It is similar to P. gordonii and P. schattaueri, both of which differ in their leaf blades with pendulous segment tips and petiole margins with an abundance of conspicuous fibers proximally/Palmweb.


Requires constantly moist soil, and can take shade or full sun, although grows considerably faster in sun.

PFC for PP.png

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 specific epithet beccariana is named for the Italian botanist Odoardo Becarri (1843-1920), perhaps best known for "discovering" the Titan arum, the plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, in Sumatra in 1878.

"The mature trunks grow to sixty feet; more commonly to forty feet with a diameter of one foot. Deep brown with closely set leaf scar rings, the trunk shows off narrow vertical fissures. The leaf crown is spherical because of the persistent dead leaves; it attains a spread of fifteen feet. The leaves are three to four feet wide and semi to almost circular. The leaf segments extend to one third of the leaf blade, and the stout petioles extend into the blades, forming a distant midrib. The leaf blade is slightly folded and cup shaped when young. They are bright clear green on both sides; the segments are slightly pendent at their apices. The petiole is stout, five feet long, light brownish, and covered in a chalky, light brown to almost white felt when young. The inflorescences are five feet long and many branched, they bear small yellowish bisexual flowers. The fruit are one inch wide, round and glossy black when ripe." (Bill Chang)

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, 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.

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