Endemic to the island of Kaua'i, Pritchardia napaliensis, formerly known as Pritchardia limahuliensis, are small palms 4 to 6 meters (~ 13-20 ft) tall, with slender trunks 18 to 20 cm (~ 7-8 in) in diameter. Leaf blades are green, nearly flat, ca. 85 cm (~ 33 in) long from ligule to apex. Inflorescences composed of 1-3 panicles, shorter than to equaling petioles in flower and fruit, panicles branched to 2 (or 37) orders. Pritchardia napaliensis is rare in mesic valleys, ca. 160 m, along the Napali Coast from Hanakapi'ai to Ho'olulu valleys, Kaua'i.
Pritchardia napaliensis typically grows at a wide variation of elevations between 152 and 1,158 meters (500 and 3,800 feet) in a wide variety of habitats. Pohakuao, an upper isolated hanging valley northeast of Kalalau and southwest of Hanakoa, has relictual Diospyros sandwicensis (lama) – Metrosideros polymorpha (ohia) mesic forest and diverse mesic forest with a secondary succession of invasive introduced plant species. On Hanakapiai Valley’s steep slopes below Pohakea, the habitat is Diospyros sandwicensis – Metrosideros polymorpha mesic forest. In Hoolulu Valley where Pritchardia napaliensis grows below a small waterfall, the habitat is Diospyros sandwicensis – Pandanus tectorius (hala) lowland mesic forest. In Waiahuakua, the habitat is Metrosideros polymorpha – Pandanus tectorius mesic forest. Alealau, above Kalalau Valley, has Metrosideros polymorpha – Dicranopteris linearis montane wet forest. Lower Limahuli’s natural community is mixed wet lowland forest. In Hanakapi'ai, the habitat is Metrosideros polymorpha – Diospyros sandwicensis mesic forest.
Associated species including Alyxia stellata, Bidens forbesii (kookoolau), Bobea elatior (ahakea lau nui), Euphorbia sp. (akoko), Cyanea coriacea, C. hardyi (haha), Diospyros sandwicensis, Doodia lyonii (NCN), Freycinetia arborea, Hibiscus kokio ssp. saintjohnianus, Kadua acuminata (au), Ochrosia sp., Pipturus kauaiensis (mamake), Pleomele aurea, Psychotria mariniana, Psydrax odorata, Schiedea kauaiensis (NCN), Thelypteris globulifera (NCN), and Wikstroemia oahuensis (Tangalin 2009).
Many introduced mammals damage the seeds in the wild. Hybridization may occur when several Pritchardia species are planted near each other. (Chapin, Melany H. 1990. Pritchardia remota: A Singularly Beautiful Palm. The Bulletin of the National Tropical Botanical Garden 20 (3):62-64.) (National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG). n.d. (b) Loulu [Pritchardia remota]. In Native Hawaiian plant information sheets. Lawai, Kauai: Hawaii Plant Conservation Center. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Unpublished Internal Papers.) (Wagner, Warren L., Darrel R. Herbst, and S. H. Sohmer. 1990. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i.) (Hodel, D.R. 2007. A Review of the Genus Pritchardia. Palms 51(supplement): S1-S52.)
IUCN Status: Critically Endangered. is assessed as Critically Endangered under criterion B1 as it has an EOO of less than 100 km2 (42 km2), is severely fragmented, and has a continuing decline in EOO, AOO, area, extent and/or quality of habitat, number of subpopulations, and number of mature individuals.
Federal Listing Status: Endangered.
Major threats to Pritchardia napaliensis include habitat degradation and grazing by feral goats (Capra hircus) and pigs (Sus scrofa) (Factor A and C); seed predation by rats (Rattus rattus) (Factor C); and competition with invasive introduced plant species.
We currently have 31 herbarium specimens for Pritchardia napaliensis in our collection. Click on any specimen below to view the herbarium sheet data.