Psychotria hawaiiensis

leaf Main Plant Information






  • hawaiiensis
  • hillebrandii
  • scoriacea

Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Kōpiko
  • Kōpiko ʻula
  • ʻŌpiko

Hawaiian Names

  • Kopiko
  • Kopiko ula
  • Opiko


  • Psychotria hawaiiensis var. glomerata
  • Straussia glomerata
  • Straussia hawaiensis
  • Straussia hillebrandii
  • Straussia oncocarpa var. scoriacea

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Tree

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Tree, Dwarf, Less than 15
  • Tree, Small, 15 to 30
  • Tree, Medium, 30 to 50

Mature Size, Width

The maximum height of kōpiko ʻula is recorded at 45 feet with a spread of 30 feet. [1] This would, of course, be an older mature tree and not likely to reach such measurements under cultivation.

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

No data available.

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Greenish-White
  • White

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

No data available.

leaf Pests and Diseases

leaf Growth Requirements

Water Requirements

  • Moist

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Partial sun

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Molokaʻi
  • Maui
  • Hawaiʻi

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

  • 150 to 1000, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 150 to 1000, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 150 to 1000, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 1000 to 1999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 1000 to 1999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 1000 to 1999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 2000 to 2999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 2000 to 2999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 2000 to 2999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 3000 to 3999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 3000 to 3999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 3000 to 3999, Greater than 100 (Wet)
  • 4000 to 4999, 0 to 50 (Dry)
  • 4000 to 4999, 50 to 100 (Mesic)
  • 4000 to 4999, Greater than 100 (Wet)

Additional Habitat Information

Kōpiko ʻula (Psychotria hawaiiensis) is found in wet, sometimes dry to mesic forests as an understory plant from 500 to over 5200 feet (var. hawaiiensis).

Though found on Molokaʻi and Maui, it is most common on Hawaiʻi Island.

Pyschotria hawaiiensis intergrades with P. mauiensis especially in the Kohala Mountains, Hawaiʻi.

leaf Special Features and Information


The generic name Psychotria is derived from the Greek psychros, cold, and trophos, feeder, literally meaning refreshment, in reference to the reputed medicinal properties of some in this genus. [3]

The specific Latin name hawaiiensis, means "from Hawaiʻi."

Background Information

The underside leaves of kōpiko ʻula is a great place to look for the tiny endemic Happy face spiders or nananana makakiʻi (Theridion grallator). [4]

The fruit is part of the diet of ʻōmaʻo or Hawaiian thrush (Myadestes obscurus).

Early Hawaiian Use

The hard whitish wood of this species and other kōpiko were used by the Hawaiians for anvils or kua kuku for beating kapa, as well as for fuel. [1,2]

Additional References

[1] Hawaiian Dictionaries [Accessed 5/05/10]

[2] "Common Forest Trees of Hawaii (Native and Introduced) by Elbert L. Little, Jr. and Roger G. Skolmen, page 354.

[3] "The Names of Plants" by David Gledhill, page 318.

[4] "Hawai'i's Plants and Animals--Biological Sketches of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park" by Charles P. Stone & Linda W. Pratt, page 231.



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This record is as complete as we can generate for this plant profile at this point. Please email if you wish to contribute to the data. Please include sources and references for all data submitted