Chrysodracon hawaiiensis

leaf Main Plant Information

Genus

Chrysodracon

Species

hawaiiensis

Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Hala pepe
  • Leʻie

Hawaiian Names

  • Hala pepe
  • Leie

Common Names

  • Hawaiʻi hala pepe

Synonyms

  • Dracaena hawaiiensis
  • Pleomele kaupulehuensis
  • Pleomele konaensis

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status

Endemic

Endangered Species Status

Federally Listed

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Tree

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Tree, Small, 15 to 30

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Specimen Plant

Additional Landscape Use Information

Though far from being a "common" landscape tree, this endangered endemic species appears to be readily seen in cultivation.

Plant Produces Flowers

Yes

leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Showy

Flower Colors

  • Yellow

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Coarse

Leaf Colors

  • Dark Green
  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Hala pepe is prone to scale and root chewing arthropods attack young plants.

leaf Growth Requirements

Fertilizer

13-13-13 slow release twice a year. Foliar feeding two or three times a year with standard fertilizer at half-strength or kelp or fish emulsion has proved beneficial. Use caution not to over fertilize hala pepe.

Pruning Information

None necessary except to remove dead lower leaves and spent fruit stems (panicles).

Water Requirements

  • Dry

Additional Water Information

Do not over water hala pepe.

Soil must be well drained

Yes

Light Conditions

  • Full sun

Tolerances

  • Drought
  • Wind

Soils

  • Cinder
  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Hawaiʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 150 to 1000, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 1000 to 1999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 1000 to 1999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 2000 to 2999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 2000 to 2999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)

Additional Habitat Information

This endangered hala pepe, edemic to Hawaiʻi Island, is found in dry to coccasionally mesic on leeward Hawaiʻi Island from 985 to over 2800 feet.

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

The genus Pleomele has been recently placed in the family Asparagaceae.

There are six endemic species of hala pepe (Pleomele spp.). Some of the most distinctive features among the Hawaiian species of hala pepe are found in leaf length, width and shape, and in the characteristic perianth, the portion of the flower that has petals and sepals (tepals). [2]

Etymology

The generic name Pleomele is derived from the Greek pleon, many, and melon, apple, in reference to the large inflorescence that produce many fruits.

The specific name hawaiiensis refers to the island of Hawaiʻi where this endangered species is endemic.

Hawaiian Names:

The Hawaiian name hala pepe (pēpē means baby) apparently meaning "baby hala," is most likely named for its likeness to hala. [1]

Halapepe, as one word, has at times been used for this species, whereas it is generally referred to as hala pepe, a two word name. [5]

Early Hawaiian Use

Lei:

Used in lei making. [3]

Medicinal:

Early Hawaiians used the leaves in bathing and steam baths for chills (liʻa), headaches, fever, and thought to stop burning temperature or sensation. [4]

Religion:

The soft wood was used by early Hawaiians to make idols and to decorate altars.

Additional References

[1] "Endangered Plants and Threatened Ecosystems on the Island of Hawaiʻi" by J. Juvik, J. DeLay, M. Merlin, M. Castillo, L. Perry, K. Kinney, page 30.

[2] "Monograph of the Hawaiian Species of Pleomele (Liliaceae)," by Harold St. John, pages 171-189.

[3] "Nā Lei Makamae--The Treasured Lei" by Marie A. McDonald & Paul R. Weissich, page 20.

[4] "Native Hawaiian Medicine--Volume III" by The Rev. Kaluna M. Kaʻaiakamanu, pages 47-48.

[5] Hawaiian Dictionaries online http://www.wehewehe.org [11/16/11]

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