Coprosma montana

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Hupilo
  • Pilo

Hawaiian Names

  • Hupilo
  • Pilo

Common Names

  • Alpine mirrorplant

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Sprawling Shrub
  • Shrub
  • Tree

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Shrub, Medium, 6 to 10
  • Shrub, Tall, Greater than 10
  • Tree, Dwarf, Less than 15
  • Tree, Small, 15 to 30

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent

Additional Landscape Use Information

Although this species is a high elevation plant, it will grow at lower elevations. [Aileen Yeh, Aileen Yeh Nursery]

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Greenish-White
  • Yellow

Additional Flower Color Information

The small flowers, like other native Coprosma spp., are not attractive to the average person.

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

The yellowish-orange to reddish fruit en masse present an attractive display.

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Fine
  • Medium

Leaf Colors

  • Dark Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

leaf Growth Requirements

Water Requirements

  • Dry
  • Moist

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun


  • Drought
  • Wind


  • Cinder
  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Maui
  • Hawaiʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

No data available.


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

Ofen a dominant component of the vegation in subalpine woodland and occasionally in mesic forest from 6000 to 10,000 feet on East Maui and Hawaiʻi Island.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

The thirteen Hawaiian endemic species of Coprosma belong to Rubiaceae or Coffee family and all appear to be common to fairly common in their habitat. The genus name Coprosma means "smelling like dung" and refers to the rotten cabbage smell (methanethiol) given off when the leaves of some species are crushed. [1]

Pilo of many species provide fruit for native birds.


The generic name is from the Greek kopros, dung, and osme, smell, referring to the dung-like or rotten cabbage smell (methanethiol) given off when the leaves of some species are crushed. [1]

The specific epithet montana, is from the Latin, montanus, of the mountains, referring to the mountain habitat of this species.

Background Information

This abundant pilo is one of the primarily foods of nēnē (Branta sandvicensis) or Hawaiian goose in its native habitat.

Additional References

[1] [accessed August 2, 2008]

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