Alahe’e (Psydrax odorata)

Hawaiian Name: Alahe‘e
Botanical name: Psydrax odorata
Family: Rubiacae (Coffee Family)
Status: Indigenous
Where found: Maui, Moloka‘i, Lāna‘i, Hawai‘i, O‘ahu & Kaua‘i
Water/Light: Dry to moist, with full sun exposure
Elevation range: 30 to 3,800 feet
Height: 10 to 20 feet, with a 10 foot spread

Notes: Alahe‘e is locally renowned for its wonderfully fragrant flowers and, within a landscape, can be used to replace the non-native mock orange. In old Hawai‘i, a black kapa dye was produced using the leaves of alahe‘e. These leaves were also an ingredient in a medicinal remedy to cleanse the blood. From the hard wood, early Hawaiian fashioned farming tools such as ‘ō‘ō (digging sticks), fishhooks, shark hooks (makau manō) and dip nets for catching fish and crab. Alahe‘e is drought and wind tolerant.

From Work Done by Whit Germano to Catalog Native Hawaiian Plants

Photo: Starr

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