Pritchardia minor

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Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah)
00831 orig.jpg
Upper Kalalau Valley, Kaua`i, Hawaii, United States, Hawaiian Archipelago, Pacific Islands. Photo by Dr. Massey Paul D.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah)
Pritchardia eriophora
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Costapalmate
Survivability index
Common names
Hawaiian; Hāwane, Loulu, Noulu, Wāhane. Alakaʻi Swamp pritchardia.

Habitat and Distribution

Hawaii, Endemic. Moist to wet forests in valleys and on exposed slopes, western
Alakai Swamp pritchardia Arecaceae Endemic to the Hawaiiian islands (Kauaʻi only) Oʻahu (Cultivated). Photo by Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff
Napali Coast, Kokee, and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, 500-1300 m elevation. This loulu species occurs naturally in mesic to wet forests from the Alakaʻi Swamp to the Kōkeʻe area and western Nāpali Coast and Waimea Canyon on Kauaʻi from about 1,640 to 4,265 feet.


To 10 m tall; proximal margins of petiole with only a few fibers; leaf blade nearly flat, divided 1/3-1/2, abaxial surface completely covered with lepidia and appearing silvery grayish white, segment tips stiff or only slightly drooping in shade; inflorescences composed of 1 or 2 panicles, shorter than petioles in flower and fruit, panicles branched to 2 orders, rachillae permanently clothed with dense, pinkish brown, woolly indumentum; fruits 15-30 x 12-13 mm, ovoid to ellipsoid to obovoid. (Hodel, D. 2007)/Palmweb.

Pritchardia minor is distinguished by its small fruits and panicles permanently clothed with thick, pinkish brown, woolly indumentum. One of the smaller species of the genus, Pritchardia minor is similar in habit to P. napaliens is, and their ranges may overlap slightly, but the latter differs in its leaf blades incompletely covered abaxially with lepidia and the panicles and rachillae lacking hairs. The type of Pritchardia minor consists of a few fruits that Rock collected on Kauai in 1909 and sent to nurseryman F. Franceschi in Santa Barbara, California who forwarded them to Beccari. After Beccari had named and given an unusually meager description of P. minor in 1910, Rock sent complete material to Beccari in 1911 upon which the expanded description in the 1921 monograph was based (Beccari & Rock 1921). (Hodel, D. 2007)/Palmweb.


Comments and Curiosities

Uses: Loulu or Alakai Swamp pritchardia, endemic to the Hawaiiian islands (Kauaʻi only) Oʻahu (Cultivated) The fruits called hāwane or wāhane were peeled and eaten by early Hawaiians. They collected young fruits. The flavor of young fruit with the soft interior is similar to coconut. The trunks loulu were notched for climbing to gather the immature fruits and fronds. Older specimens still bear notches that can be seen today. The fronds, or leaves, called lau hāwane were used by the early Hawaiians for thatching and more recently as plaiting such as papale (hats) and fans. (Encyclopedia of Life curator Dr. David Eickhoff)

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).

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

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