Hawaiian Name(s): pilo, hupilo, maiapilo?, pua pilo?, koi (C. kauensis), olena (C. waimeae)

Scientific Name: Coprosma (12 species)

Vernacular Name: none

Family: Rubiaceae

Status: endemic

Authority: C. cymosa Hillebr., C. elliptica W.R.B.Oliv., C. foliosa A.Gray, C. kauensis (A.Gray) A.Heller, C. longifolia A.Gray, C. menziesii A.Gray, C. montana Hillebr., C. ochracea W.R.B.Oliv., C. pubens A.Gray, C. rhynchocarpa A.Gray, C. ternata W.R.B.Oliv., C. waimeae Wawra

Description: Shrub to small trees.

Habitat C. cymosa in mesic forest, 500–1000 m (Hawai‘i); C. elliptica bogs and wet forest (Kaua‘i); C. foliosa mesic to wet forest between 300–1830 m (Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘, Lāni‘i, Maui); C. kauensis wet to mesic forest 600–1330 m (Kaua‘i); C. longifolia mesic to wet forest 360–1200 m (O‘ahu); C. menziesii mesic forest 270–1220 m (Hawai‘i); C. montana supalpine shrubland and woodland, mesic forest 1830–3050 m (Maui, Hawai‘i); C. ochraecea, wet habitats, occ. mesic forest, 790–2290 m (most main islands); C. pubens wet to mesic forest 360–1900 m (Maui, Hawai‘i, Moloka‘i, Lāni‘i); C. rhynchocarpa mesic to wet forest, subalpine shrubland 490–2260 m (Hawai‘i); C. ternata mesic to wet forest 760–1400 m (Moloka‘i); C. waimeae mesic forest 580–1070 m (Kaua‘i) (Wagner et al. 1990:1124–1131).

Medicines: The berries of the pilo are used as a laxative (Degener 1930:282).

Non Medicinal Uses: Wood variable from hard to soft between species (Little and Skolmen 1989:298).

Specific gravity of wood: unknown

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau:

Dye Color and Parts:

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: Easy [C. rhynchocarpa]. Remove fruit pulp from seeds. Seeds germinate by 4 months. Variable growth rates. Fairly hardy after outplanting. Good under larger, mature trees, such as koa and ‘ōhi‘a lehua. Few pests. (Culliney and Koebele 1999:133–134).
Native Plants Hawaii.

Seed: Seed length approximately 5.3 mm. Photograph: B.Kennedy. Species: C. foliosa.
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