Sapindus oahuensis

Image of lonomea


Lonomea, ulu,* or Oahu soapberrySapindaceae (Soapberry family)Endemic to the Hawaiian Islands (only in meisic and dry forests of northwest Kauai and in the Waianae and Koolau mountains from Waimalu to Niu valleys on Oahu)IUCN: VulnerableOahu (Cultivated)Green & ripe fruits.Flowerswww.flickr.com/photos/dweickhoff/5737856088/in/photolist-...Green fruitswww.flickr.com/photos/dweickhoff/5187914267/in/dateposted/Ripe fruitswww.flickr.com/photos/dweickhoff/5187914211/in/photolist-...Seedswww.flickr.com/photos/dweickhoff/25000260212/in/photolist...Habitwww.flickr.com/photos/dweickhoff/5187914415/in/photolist-...The roundish or oval fruits resemble dates and smell like figs or raisins, but are not edible. The very hard blackish seeds were used by early Hawaiians for medicinal purposes and to string for gorgeous permanent lei. Seeds lei are still made today.Early Hawaiians used the hard wood to make spears.EtymologyThe generic name Sapindus is derived from Latin sapo, or soap, and indicus, Indian. Crushed lonomea fruit makes a sudsy lather when mixed with water and was formerly used as a soap substitute, and thus aptly named the "soapberry tree."The specific epithet oahuensis is taken from the island of Oahu, one of two islands this species is naturally occurring._____* The name Lonomea was used for the trees on Kauai, while ulu or Kaulu was the name used on Oahu by early Hawaiians.nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/view/Sapindus_oahuensis

Source Information

David Eickhoff
David Eickhoff
original media file
visit source
partner site
Flickr Group