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The Hawaiian Palm

Donald R. Hodel

Publication Year: 2012

The only native palms in Hawai‘i, loulu are among the Islands’ most distinctive plants. Several of the 24 recognized species are rare and endangered and all make handsome and appropriate ornamentals to adorn gardens and landscapes with their dramatic foliage, colorful flower clusters, and conspicuous fruits. In this volume, Donald Hodel shares his expertise on loulu, having traveled extensively throughout Hawai‘i to research and photograph nearly all the species in their native habitat. In the course of his work, he described and named three loulu that were new to science.

Each of the 24 species is treated in detail and this book is handsomely illustrated with more than 200 color photographs that clearly show leaves, flower stalks, fruits, and habitat. Chapters on loulu history, botany, ecology, conservation, uses, and propagation and culture provide essential background information for readers, whatever their level of interest or expertise. In the appendices, they will find a concise summary of loulu, lists of species by island, and an illustrated compendium of exotic, naturalized palms of Hawai‘i and relatives of loulu found throughout the South Pacific.

As interest in growing and conserving native Hawaiian plants surges while their numbers and habitat continue to decline, Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm will be valued as one of the most comprehensive and thoroughly illustrated treatments of these exceptional plants.

255 color illus., 37 maps

Published by: University of Hawai'i Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-v


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pp. vii

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Foreword by Paul R. Weissich

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pp. ix

William Hillebrand, in his pioneering Flora of the Hawaiian Islands published in 1888, noted the presence of but two species of loulu (Pritchardia). Then in 1913, Joseph Rock greatly expanded our knowledge of the endemic loulu in...

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Foreword by William S. Merwin

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pp. xi-xv

Some of the readers of Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm will probably be professional botanists, and for that reason I feel that I should begin with a disclaimer. I am not a scientist of any kind but a writer and amateur gardener. My relation to Pritchardias and to other forms...

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pp. xvii-xx

My passionate interest in palms began when I took a subtropical plant materials class as a young college student in 1971 and quickly became thoroughly smitten with this astounding group of plants. Thus, I was full of anticipation and excitement at the prospect of moving to Hawai‘i in 1974 to begin...

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pp. xxi-xxii

I am extremely grateful and pleased for the assistance numerous individuals, institutions, and organizations provided during the course of this study. They all have my sincere thanks. Hawai‘i nurseryman Jeff Marcus tirelessly helped to raise much of the funding for the fieldwork. Scott Zona, Ray Baker, David Lorence, Leland Miyano, Kerry Morris...

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Chapter 1. Introduction to Loulu

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pp. 1-66

One of the most isolated groups of islands in the world, Hawai‘i is about 2,500 miles southwest of the western coast of the United States, the closest continental land mass, and a similar distance from the closest high islands to the south and west. Volcanic in origin, it comprises...

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Chapter 2. The Guide to Loulu

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pp. 67-152

A handsome and rather large palm, the East Maui Loulu occurs on the northern and northeastern slopes of Haleakalā and is distinctive in its nearly flat leaf blades with rusty-brown-tinged, silvery gray or coppery undersides, abundant fibers at the base of the leaf stalk, and large fruit...

Appendix 1. Loulu at a Glance

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pp. 153-160

Appendix 2. List of Loulu by Island

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pp. 161-162

Appendix 3. Naturalized Palms in Hawai‘i

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pp. 163-170

Appendix 4. South Pacific Pritchardia

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pp. 171-174

Appendix 5. Nomenclature, Synonymy, and Types of Hawaiian Loulu

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pp. 175-178

Further Reading

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pp. 179-180


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pp. 181-192

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About the Author, Production Notes, Back Cover

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pp. 193-194

Donald R. Hodel is the Environmental and Landscape Horticulture Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles, a position he has held for nearly thirty years. He develops applied research projects and educational programs to..

E-ISBN-13: 9780824865788
Print-ISBN-13: 9780824835675

Publication Year: 2012