Hawaiian Name(s): pāpala kōpau, pāpala, āulu (P. sandwicensis), kaulu (P. sandwicensis on Kauai)

Scientific Name: Pisonia (5 species)

Vernacular Name: none

Family: Nyctaginaceae

Status: indigenous except P. wagneriana (endemic)

Authority: P. brunoniana Endl., P. grandis R.Br., P. sandwicensis Hillebr., P. umbellifera (G Forst.) Seem., P. wagneriana Fosberg

Description: Trees to 15 m tall.

Habitat P. brunoniana & P. sandwicensis in dry to mesic habitats, P. grandis on Lisianski, P. umbellifera in wet to moist areas, and P. wagneriana in mesic valleys (Wagner et al. 1990:984–988).


Non Medicinal Uses: The fruits of the pāpala kōpau contain a sticky sap used to trap birds (Abbott:1992:106).

Specific gravity of wood: unknown

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts:

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus: Next to the Castle Bldg

Propagation Information: Easiest to plant entire fruit; germinates in 4-6 weeks; or remove seed in water & plant horizontally in vermiculite:sprouts in 1-2 weeks; transfer to individual pots before leaves develop; keep pot moist, 20-30cm should be planted in ground with partial shade (Culliney and Koebele 1999:130–132).
Native Plants Hawaii.

Seed: Seed length approximately 15 mm. Photograph: B.Kennedy. Species: P. brunoniana.
Click for image