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Myoporum stellatum

leaf Main Plant Information

Genus

Myoporum

Species

stellatum

Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Naio

Hawaiian Names

  • Naio

Synonyms

  • Myoporum sandwicense var. stellatum

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status

Endemic

Endangered Species Status

At Risk

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Shrub
  • Tree

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Shrub, Small, 2 to 6
  • Shrub, Medium, 6 to 10
  • Shrub, Tall, Greater than 10

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Container
  • Hedges
  • Screening

Additional Landscape Use Information

This species will grow, and actually prefers, very sunny, dry locations. Reduce watering after established. Poor drainage and damp soil will eventually kill these plants, which favors arid conditions. (See notes under Additional Water Information).

Naio can be used to replace the extremely poisonous oleander which has a similar appearance and is much safer to grow in the landscape.

Companion Plants:

ʻAhinahina (Achyranthes splendens var. rotundata) naturally grows with this naio species. Native grasses such as pili and kāwelu also look nice around these shrubs.*
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* These plants can be found on this website using the "Browse Plants" feature found at the top. Enter plant names without diacritics.

Source of Fragrance

  • Flowers
  • Wood

Additional Fragrance Information

Flowers have a spicy sandalwood-like fragrance.

Plant Produces Flowers

Yes

leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Pink
  • White

Additional Flower Color Information

Flowers are small and white or white with light to dark pink or lavender centers.

Blooming Period

  • Year Round
  • Sporadic

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Fine
  • Medium

Leaf Colors

  • Dark Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

Leaves have small star-shaped (stellate) hairs on their leathery surface.

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Plants are prone to ants, scale, mealy bugs, spider mites and aphids.

Black sooty mold may result from overwatering, especially on coastal varieties. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Since December 2008, naio thrips (Klambothrips myopori) have been noticed on Hawaiʻi Island from Kona Palisaides through Waikoloa and up to Waimea. This non-native pest, from Tasmania, severely distorts naio leaves and tips of new growth (terminal growth) with unsightly galling, resembling the leaf and stem "bubbling" seen on hybrid Chinese red hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and wiliwili (Erythrina sandwicensis). Naio thrips have been found on both prostrate naio or naio papa and upright forms, but is expected to affect many Myoporum species. In severe cases, the thrips can destroy the plants. So far it seems to be localized. [1,5]

Please report any sightings of this pest to the Hawaiʻi Department of Agriculture (HDOA) or the Department of Land and Resources (DLNR). For more information and photos consult the Reference section at the bottom of this page. [3]

leaf Growth Requirements

Fertilizer

An application of a balanced slow release fertilize with minor elements every six months. Foliar feed monthly with kelp or fish emulsion, or a water-soluble fertilizer with a dilution of one half to one third of recommended strength for younger shrubs. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Additional Water Information

Poor drainage and damp soil will eventually kill this species of naio. The characteristically beautiful pubescent appearance of the leaves, due to the stellate (star-shaped) hairs, can look "washed out" with too much water and will superficially appear much like other naio varieties. Once established, grow this xeic shrub on the dry side.

Soil must be well drained

Yes

Light Conditions

  • Full sun

Tolerances

  • Drought
  • Wind
  • Salt Spray
  • Heat

Soils

  • Cinder
  • Coral

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Oʻahu

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • Less than 150, 0 to 50 (Dry)

Habitat

  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

Once a dominant shrub of the coastal ʻEwa coralline plain on southwest Oʻahu, this rare endemic shrub is mainly restricted to relict patches in its severely altered environment as a result of human encroachment.

Joel Lau, Botanist in Hawaiʻi notes: "Myoporum stellatum had been recorded only from the plains at the southwestern corner of the island of Oʻahu to the eastern side of Puʻuloa (Pearl Harbor), growing in calcareous soil on emerged coral reef. The species is now additionally documented from an area in the southern Waiʻanae Mountains growing in basaltic substrate."

He continues, "There are probably fewer than 1,000 mature plants remaining of this species on the plains. Only a single plant of the species is known to be alive in the Waiʻanae Mountains. There were at least five or six additional known plants of the species in the area where the living plant is located, but they were killed by a brushfire in 2005."

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Naio (Myoporum spp.) belongs to the Figwort family or Scrophulariaceae with around 30 species in the Indo-Pacific region. [2]

There are three endemic species Myoporum in the Hawaiian Islands, the most common and variable of which is M. sandwicense.

Etymology

The generic name Myoporum is derived from the Greek myo, close, and poros, pore in reference to the close appearance of the leaf glands of these plants.

The specific epithet stellatum is from the Latin stellata, star, in reference to tiny star-shaped, or stellate, hairs on the leaves. [2]

Hawaiian Name:

Naio* is most commonly used for this Myoporum species. This Hawaiian name is also used for the parasitic pinworm (Enterobius sp.), a type of seaweed, and an infererior taro left in the field after the crop is removed. [6]

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* Naio is spelled with no diacritics.

Early Hawaiian Use

Early Hawaiians used the wood of naio (ʻaʻaka). The larger branches and trunks for posts, rafters and thatching poles or purlins in homes (hale) and for netting needles or shuttles. [4]

Additional References

[1] Naio Thrips, Department of Agriculture, New Pest Advisory, June 2009 hawaii.gov/hdoa/pi/ppc/npa-1/npa09-02-naiothrips.pdf

[2] "Eremophila and allied genera: A Monograph of the Plant Family Myoporaceae," by R.J. Chinnock, pages 146-148.

[3] "Hawaii Forest Disease and Pests" http://www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/forestry/disease/index.html [Accessed 2/4/11; updated on 4/28/10]

[4] "Plants in Hawaiian Culture" by Beatrice H. Krauss, pages 35, 56.

[5] "Naio Thrips Threatens Our Native Naio" by Cynthia King, in "Hawaii Landscape," February/March 2012, page 30.

[6] http://www.wehewehe.org [Accessed 12/11/12]

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