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IUCN: not evaluated
Family: RUBIACEAE Genus: Psydrax Species: odorata Species Author: (Forst. f.) A. C. Sm. & S. P. Darwin Vernacular: Alahee, Ohee, Walahee Synonyms: Canthium lucidum, Canthium odoratum, Coffea odorata, Plectronia odorata, Canthium lucidum
Psydrax odorata is a shrub or small tree ranging in height from 2 to 10 meters, but spreading only 1 to 2.5 m in width. The elliptical leaves are glossy green on the top surface and up to 9 cm long. The small, white flowers are fragrant and are born in clusters up to 3.5 cm long. The fruits of alahe`e are between 0.5 and 1 cm in diameter, more or less round, and black at maturity. The fruits generally ripen in the late fall and winter and contain one or two seeds.
(Wagner, W. L., Herbst, D. R. and Sohmer, S. H. 1990. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i)
Hawaiians used the hard wood for digging sticks and extracted a black dye from the leaves. The fragrant flowers and the seed are used for lei.
(Krauss, B.H. 1993. Plants in Hawaiian Culture.)
The Alahe'e is indigenous to Hawai'i and is found on all the major Hawaiian Islands except Ni'ihau and Kaho'olawe. It is also found on the islands of Micronesia, Fiji and Southern Polynesia. Alahe'e grows in lowland areas and in moist forests. It may also be seen growing on lava flows.
(Wagner, W. L., Herbst, D. R. and Sohmer, S. H. 1990. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawai'i)
We currently have 74 herbarium specimens for Psydrax odorata in our collection. Click on any specimen below to view the herbarium sheet data.