Loulu (Pritchardia remota)

Hawaiian name: Loulu
Botanical name: Pritchardia remota
Family: Arecaceae (Palm Family)
Status: Endemic, endangered
Where found: Ni‘ihau and Nīhoa
Water/Light: Dry to moist, full sun
Elevation range: 250 to 800 feet
Height: 13-50 feet

Photo courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr

Notes: Pritchardia remota grows exceptionally well in cultivation and occurs in several botanical collections. On Ni‘ihau this species was once named P. aylmer-robinsonii. It inhabits dry, barren rocky areas and on Nīhoa forms large, closed-canopy colonies. Loulu palm were erected to signify a temporary, special 'heiau loulu', where gods of fishing were seasonally propitiated. The leaves were used for thatching. Because loulu fruits are tasty to rats, all Hawaiian loulu are rare.

*Photo courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr