Pritchardia martii

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Figure 1. P. martii



P. kahanae, P. martiodes, P. rockiana, P. kahukuensis, P. kamapuana, P. mcdanielsii," P. gaudichaudi

Common Names:

Loulou-Hiwa Palm. "

Distribution & Habitat:

Oahu (P. kahanae, martiodes, rockiana, kahukuensis, kamapuana, mcdanielsii) and Molokai: (P. gaudichaudi).


Especially beautiful when young and grown in part sun, (Fig 2) these are small fan palms 3-10 metres tall. "The leaves"lower surface are typically covered in densely felty scales in a silver or light tan color (Fig 1). Inflorescences equal or exceed the length of the petiole,"(Fig 3). The ovoid fruits are black when mature (Fig. 4). Seeds are large, pointed at both ends and are about 40mm long and 30 mm wide.


This species is variable and this lead to early botanists over describing these palms. On the island of Oahu today there are only 2 species of Pritchardia," all of those now regarded as synonymous with P. martii , which grow in the valleys and ridges slopes and precipices of the Koolau mountains on the eastern side"(Fig 5)" and P. kaalae"which grows in the Waianae "mountains on the west side.""

Figure 2. A very attractive plant of P. martii.


Widely cultivated, P. martii requires light shade, or coastal full sun in the tropics and grows slowly in warm temperate regions."" It is said that in temperate climates the palms grow,"but slowly and are not a long term survivor. The seeds can take"30 days or even up to 3-4 months to germinate." Growth is slow compared with species such as P. hillebrandii.

Figure 3. P. martii inflorescence.
Figure 4. P. martii seeds and infructescence.
Figure 5. P. martii in habitat, Koolau mountains.


Beccari and Rock, Pritchardia 1921;"Memoirs of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Vol 8 No 1

Contributed by:

Chris King (Text)
Mike Maxson (Figure 1&2).
Steve Rohrmayer (Figure 3,4&5).

External Links:

Kew, PalmWeb, eMonocot, JSTOR, Trebrown

Google, Google Images, Flickr, PACSOA Forums, PalmTalk