Pritchardia munroi

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Hāwane
  • Loulu
  • Noulu
  • Wāhane

Hawaiian Names

  • Hawane
  • Loulu
  • Noulu
  • Wahane

Common Names

  • Kamalō pritchardia

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


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

  • Specimen Plant

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Colors

  • Yellow

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

Small fruit are on fruit branchlets covered with dense grayish hairs. Fruit stalks are shorter than leaf stalks (petioles). [4]

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Coarse

Additional Plant Texture Information

The leaves are 3-feet long on 4-foot leaf stalks (petioles). [3,4]

Leaf Colors

  • Dark Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

Leaves are deep green above and below. [3,4]

leaf Pests and Diseases

leaf Growth Requirements


Apply a complete palm fertilizer with minor elements as directed on label. Be certain that sufficient magnesium and potassium is present in the fertilizer component. This is especially critical for loulus in pots. Magnesium and potassium deficiencies are two of the most serious nutritional disorders in palms. The deficiencies are characterized by bright yellowing (chlorotic) on leaf edges or streaking or the entire fronds yellowing. This can be difficult to reverse. Applications of Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate (MgSO4), is good but does not last and is usually washed out of the soil in rainy periods. There are some very good slow release fertilizer spikes made for especially for palms on the market which contain a good balance of minor elements with magnesium and potassium. [1,2] Potted or younger loulu planted in the ground appreciate a foliar feeding of kelp or fish emulsion and Epsom salt monthly or bi-monthly. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Water Requirements

No data available.

Light Conditions

No data available.

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Molokaʻi
  • Maui

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

No data available.

Additional Habitat Information

A rare and critically endangered loulu of the evergreen scrub forests of the leeward eastern Molokaʻi at about 1970 to 3280 feet. [3,6]

The range extension to Maui (Puʻu Kukui) is based on a revision of the genus Pritchardia. [4,6]

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

There are 26 species of Pritchardia in the Palm family (Aracaceae) of which 23 are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands. [6]


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 munroi is named for George C. Munro (1866-1963), a manager of Molokaʻi Ranch, ornithologist and botanist. [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.). [5]

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. [5]

Noulu is a variation of Loulu. [5]

Background Information

Pritchardia munroi is related to P. forbesiana, P. gordonii, P. lowreyana, and P. schattaueri. [6]

A small loulu growing to about 20 feet with a trunk diameter of about one foot. [3]

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. [8]

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] [accessed 3/4/09]
[2] [accessed 3/4/09]

[3] "An Encyclopedia of Cultivated Palms" by Robert Lee Riffle & Paul Crafts, page 421.

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

[5] Hawaiian Dictionaries [1/8/10]

[6] "A Review of the Genus Pritchardia" by Donald R. Hodel, pages S-3, S-8, S-36.

[7] "The Story of Lānaʻi" by George C. Munro, page .

[8] "Loulu--The Hawaiian Pritchardia" by Donald R. Hodel, The Palm Journal #193, page 7.



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