Hawaiian Name(s): olonā

Scientific Name: Touchardia latifolia

Vernacular Name: none

Family: Urticaceae

Status: endemic

Authority: Gaudich.

Description: Shrubs 1-3 m tall with large dark green leaves.

Habitat Mesic valleys and wet forest 70-1200 m (Wagner et al. 1990:1310–1312).


Non Medicinal Uses: Strong, light, and water-resistant, olonā was cultivated for use as "finest cordage made in the Pacific basin" (Krauss 1993:27) for fish lines, netting, mending (Abbott 1992:106; Summers 1990:22–64) fish hook and octopus lure lashings (Krauss 1993:43–47), in feather capes and helmets, as well as ki-leaf raincapes (Krauss 1993:72–77), in musical instruments (Krauss 1993:80); in weapons such as daggers, clubs (Krauss 1993:107–111). Also used in conjunction with ‘ie‘ie (Freycinetia arborea) in twined basketry (Krauss 1993:29).

Specific gravity of wood: unknown

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts:

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: (Handy et al 1972:225–226).

Seed: Seed length approximately 1.5 mm. Photograph: B.Kennedy.
Click for image