Psychotria mariniana

leaf Main Plant Information





Hawaiian Names with Diacritics

  • Kōpiko

Hawaiian Names

  • Kopiko

Common Names

  • Forest wild coffee


  • Coffea mariniana
  • Psychotria hawaiiensis var. glabrithyrsa
  • Straussia mariniana

leaf Plant Characteristics

Distribution Status


Endangered Species Status

No Status

Plant Form / Growth Habit

  • Tree

Mature Size, Height (in feet)

  • Tree, Small, 15 to 30
  • Tree, Medium, 30 to 50
  • Tree, Large, Greater than 50

Mature Size, Width

To about 45 feet, possibly more.

Life Span

Long lived (Greater than 5 years)

Landscape Uses

  • Accent
  • Screening
  • Specimen Plant

Additional Landscape Use Information

Although this common species is rarely used, thus far in the urban landscape, it does have great potential as an easy-to-grow shrub or tree. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Plant Produces Flowers


leaf Flower Characteristics

Flower Type

Not Showy

Flower Colors

  • Greenish-White
  • Yellow

Blooming Period

  • Sporadic

leaf Leaf Characteristics

Plant texture

  • Medium
  • Coarse

Leaf Colors

  • Dark Green
  • Medium Green

leaf Pests and Diseases

Additional Pest & Disease Information

In cultivation if left unchecked, scale can be somewhat problematic. Inspect under the leaves and the new leaves and treat as needed. Ants can be a source of the problem. Control the ants and you will likely control the scale problem. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

leaf Growth Requirements


Loves foliar monthly feedings with fish or kelp emulsion. Ferlizers for acidic plants, too, should be applied several times a year. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Water Requirements

  • Moist

Additional Water Information

Not too fussy, and appears to tolerate from wet to dry conditions. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]

Soil must be well drained


Light Conditions

  • Full sun
  • Partial sun

Additional Lighting Information

Full sun at higher elevations; partial at lower elevations seems best for this species. [David Eickhoff, Native Plants Hawaiʻi]


  • Cinder
  • Organic

leaf Environmental Information

Natural Range

  • Kauaʻi
  • Oʻahu
  • Molokaʻi
  • Lānaʻi
  • Maui

Natural Zones (Elevation in feet, Rainfall in inches)

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


  • Terrestrial

Additional Habitat Information

This common species grows from about 200 to 4000 feet in dry (sounthern Waiʻanae Mts., Oʻahu) to high elevation wet forest (Kokeʻe Plateau, Kauaʻi).

leaf Special Features and Information

General Information

Kōpiko (Psychotria) are members of the Coffee family (Rubiaceae). This huge family, one of the five largest plant families, has more than 6500 species and includes coffee (Coffea), ixora, gardenia, noni (Morinda citrifolia), and noxious non-native garden weeds as buttonweed (Spermacoce assurgens) and field madder or spurwort (Sherardia arvensis).

The native family members are ʻahakea (Bobea spp.), alaheʻe (Pysydrax odorata), pilo (Coproma spp.), kōpiko or manono (Kadua spp.), noni kuahiwi (Morinda trimera), mākole (Nertera granadensis), and three nānū or nāʻū (Gardenia spp.).


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]

Early Hawaiian Use

The hard whitish wood of 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.



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