Pritchardia beccariana

leaf Main Plant Information

Genus

Pritchardia

Species

beccariana

Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Hāwane
  • Loulu
  • Noulu
  • Wāhane

Hawaiian Names

  • Hawane
  • Loulu
  • Noulu
  • Wahane

Common Names

  • Beccari's Loulu

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status

Endemic

Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Tree

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Tree, Medium, 30 to 50
  • Tree, Large, Greater than 50

Mature Size, Width

The canopy width is from 12-15 feet in mature specimens. [Garrett Webb, Kalaoa Gardens]

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Specimen Plant

Additional Landscape Use Information

Although somewhat slow growing this loulu can make a nice canopy. [Garrett Webb, Kalaoa Gardens]

Plant Produces Flowers

Yes

leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Yellow

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Coarse

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

Whiteflies, scales

leaf Growth Requirements

Water Requirements

  • Moist

Soil must be well drained

Yes

Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Protect from direct sun in hotter areas. [Garrett Webb, Kalaoa Gardens]

Soils

  • Cinder

Limitations

Protect from wind and direct sun in hotter areas. [Garrett Webb, Kalaoa Gardens]

Special Growing Needs

This loulu can grow up to 3000 feet with high humidity and good drainage. [Garrett Webb, Kalaoa Gardens]

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Hawaiʻi

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)

Habitat

  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

This loulu is found from about 1000 to 4200 feet in wet forest on Mauna Loa, Hawaiʻi Island. It probably originally occured lower, perhaps to sea level, but urbanization, farming, and reforestation projects have destroyed the forest at lower elevations. [4]

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. [1]

Etymology

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 beccariana is named for the Italian botanist Odoardo Becarri (1843-1920), perhaps best known for "discovering" the Titan arum, the plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world, in Sumatra in 1878.

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.). [2]

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. [2]

Noulu is a variation of Loulu. [2]

Background Information

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. [3]

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] "A Review of the Genus Pritchardia" by Donald R. Hodel, page S-3, S-8, S-11-12.

[2] Hawaiian Dictionaries http://www.wehewehe.org/ [Accessed 12/30/09]

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

[4] "Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm" by Donald R. Hodel, pages 1, 75.

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