Pritchardia schattaueri

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Hāwane
  • Loulu
  • Noulu
  • Wāhane

Hawaiian Names

  • Hawane
  • Loulu
  • Noulu
  • Wahane

Common Names

  • Giant pritchardia
  • Lands of Pāpā pritchardia

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

Federally Listed

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Tree

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Tree, Large, Greater than 50

Mature Size, Width

The canopy width is 12-15 feet [Garrett Webb, Kalaoa Gardens] and the trunk a 1 foot in diameter. [3]

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Specimen Plant

Additional Landscape Use Information

Probably the fastest growing of all the Pritchardia spp. [3]

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type


Flower Colors

  • Yellow

Additional Flower Color Information

The yellow flowers, like other Pritchardia spp., are showy en masse.

Additional Blooming Period and Fruiting Information

The fruits are brown to black with brown spots when ripe and are from 1 to 2 inches long and about as wide. [1,3]

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Coarse

Additional Plant Texture Information

Each of the semicircular leaves is 5 to 6 feet wide. The leaf crown is spherical and dense. [3] 

A distinctive feature of this species is the drooping leaf tips at maturity. [Garrett Webb, Kalaoa Gardens]

Leaf Colors

  • Dark Green

Additional Leaf Color Information

Dark glossy green on both sides.

The petioles, stem portion connecting leaf to the palm, are 6 or 7 feet long and covered in light brown, chalky tomentum (fuzz) on the lower surfaces. [3]

leaf Pests and Diseases

leaf Growth Requirements

Water Requirements

  • Moist

Additional Water Information

Palm grower Garrett Webb, Kalaoa Gardens, Kailua-Kona notes that "even though the remnant population grows at a higher elevation where it is cool and cloudy, it has proven to perform well in hot and dry lower elevations."

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun

Additional Lighting Information

Garrett Webb suggests that "it grows best with some shade at immature stages and will eventually tolerate full sun."

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Hawaiʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

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


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

This beautiful loulu is found from about 1970 to 2625 feet in moist forests on gentle slopes in South Kona, Hawaiʻi Island where fewer than a dozen remain in the wild. [1,4]

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. [1]


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 speific epithet schattaueri is named for George Schattauer of Kona, Hawaiʻi who discovered this species in 1960 while clearing his land. [2]

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 schattaueri is closely related to P. forbesiana, P. gordonii, P. lowreyana, and P. munroi. [1]

The vernacular, or common, name "Lands of Papa pritchardia" comes from the location where it was first discovered, Papa, South Kona, Hawaiʻi Island. [1]

From 80 to 130 feet tall, this species is the tallest in the genus Pritchardia. [1,3]

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. [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.

Modern Use

This very rare species is in cultivation, but mostly seen in botanical gardens.

Additional References

[1] "A Review of the Genus Pritchardia" by Donald R. Hodel, page S-8, S-39, S-41-42.

[2] "A New Species of Pritchardia from South Kona, Hawaii" by Donald R. Hodel, pages 31, 32.

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

[4] Notes from a presentation to the Hawaii Botanical Society by Donald R. Hodel on 11/2/11.

[5] Hawaiian Dictionaries [accessed 12/30/09]

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



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