Pritchardia arecina

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Hāwane
  • Loulu
  • Noulu
  • Wāhane

Hawaiian Names

  • Hawane
  • Loulu
  • Noulu
  • Wahane

Common Names

  • East Maui Loulu
  • Maui Pritchardia

Names with Unknown Sources

  • Maui loulu

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Tree

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Tree, Medium, 30 to 50

Mature Size, Width

Canopy is 10+ feet with the trunk of one foot or less in diameter. [2,5]

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Specimen Plant

Additional Landscape Use Information

This is a tall growing loulu after 10+ years of growth. [Ethan Romanchak, Native Nursery, LLC]

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type


Flower Colors

  • Yellow

Additional Flower Color Information

Flowers are showy en masse.

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

After blooming large brown to black round to ovoid (Egg-shaped) fruits, at least 1 1/4 inches wide, will develop on hairy fruiting stalks nearly as long as the leaves. [4,5]

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Coarse

Additional Plant Texture Information

This loulu has flat, fan shaped leaves 3 feet long with abundant hair-like fibers at the base of the leaf stalk on 4-foot petioles (portion that connects the leaf to the trunk). [2,3]

Leaf Colors

  • Light Green
  • Medium Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

The 3-foot long leaves are green above with the undersides covered with pale yellow to silvery gray. [2,3]

leaf Pests and Diseases

leaf Growth Requirements


Fertilize often for faster growth. [Ethan Romanchak, Native Nursery, LLC]

Water Requirements

  • Moist

Additional Water Information

Moderate [1] to high amounts of water. [Ethan Romanchak, Native Nursery, LLC]

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Plant does best in partial shade.


  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Maui

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • 1000 to 1999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 2000 to 2999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 3000 to 3999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 4000 to 4999, Greater than 100 (Wet)


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

Endemic to the wet forests on the north and norhteast slopes of Haleakalā, East Maui from about 1,400 to 4,000 feet. [7]

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

There are 27 species of Pritchardia in the Palm family (Aracaceae) of which 24 are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. [4,7]


The generic name is named for William Thomas Pritchard (1829-1907), 19th century British counsul in Fiji, adventurer, and author of Polynesian Reminiscences in 1866.

The specific epithet arecina means Areca-like, in reference to its apparent likeness to fruit of the betel nut palm (Areca  catechu). [7]

Hawaiian Names:

Loulu, pronounced low-loo, means "umbrella," because the leaves were formerly used as protection from rain or sun.

The names Hāwane and Wāhane refers the fruit or nut of the loulu, but can also refer to the palm itself. The name is also used for a small red limu or seaweed (Polysiphonia spp.). [3]

Loulu is the Hawaiian name for all species of Pritchardia in the Hawaiian Archipelago. The name has at times been misspelled as Loʻulu. However, Loʻulu, with ʻokina, is the name of the endemic Hawaiian fern Coniogramme pilosa. Loulu is also used for a species of filefish (Alutera monoceros), perhaps so called because its greenish-white skin resembled the loulu palm. It was used in sorcery to cause death because the name contains the word lou, to hook. [3]

Noulu is a variation of Loulu. [3]

Background Information

Pritchardia arecina is related to P. martii. [4]

Fossil evidence show that loulu (Pritchardia spp.) were once widely spread throughout the islands, especially in the lowlands.

Early Hawaiian Use

Loulu (Pritchardia spp.): The hard wood of the trunk of taller species of loulu were fashioned into spears by early Hawaiians.

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. [6]

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.

Additional References

[1] "Growing Palm Trees in Hawaiʻi and Other Tropical Climates" by David Leaser, page 79.

[2] "An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms" by Robert Lee Riffle & Paul Crafts, page 420.

[3] Hawaiian Dictionaries [Accessed 12/30/09]

[4] "A Review of the Genus Pritchardia" by Donald R. Hodel, page S-3, S-8 S-11.

[5] [Accessed on 4/20/11]

[6] "Loulu--The Hawaiian Pritchardia" by Donald R. Hodel, The Palm Journal #193, page 12.

[7] "Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm" by Donald R. Hodel, pages 1, 67.

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