Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm

Paperback: $35.00
ISBN-13: 9780824897789
Published: November 2023
Hardback: $48.00
ISBN-13: 9780824835675
Published: November 2012
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Additional Information

216 pages | 255 color illus., 37 maps
  • About the Book
  • Forewords by Paul R. Weissich and William S. Merwin
    The only native palms in Hawai‘i, loulu are among the Islands’ most distinctive plants. Several of the 24 recognized species are rare and endangered and all make handsome and appropriate ornamentals to adorn gardens and landscapes with their dramatic foliage, colorful flower clusters, and conspicuous fruits. In this volume, Donald Hodel shares his expertise on loulu, having traveled extensively throughout Hawai‘i to research and photograph nearly all the species in their native habitat. In the course of his work, he described and named three loulu that were new to science.

    Each of the 24 species is treated in detail and this book is handsomely illustrated with more than 200 color photographs that clearly show leaves, flower stalks, fruits, and habitat. Chapters on loulu history, botany, ecology, conservation, uses, and propagation and culture provide essential background information for readers, whatever their level of interest or expertise. In the appendices, they will find a concise summary of loulu, lists of species by island, and an illustrated compendium of exotic, naturalized palms of Hawai‘i and relatives of loulu found throughout the South Pacific.

    As interest in growing and conserving native Hawaiian plants surges while their numbers and habitat continue to decline, Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm will be valued as one of the most comprehensive and thoroughly illustrated treatments of these exceptional plants.

  • About the Author(s)
    • Donald R. Hodel, Author

      Donald R. Hodel, a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i, is the environmental and landscape horticulture advisor (emeritus) for the University of California Cooperative Extension in Los Angeles.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • A beautiful, informative book. . . . Highly recommended.”
    • Loulu: The Hawaiian Palm is filled with color. . . . Unique, thoughtful touches abound, such as color-coded maps of the islands showing locations of wild plants. There is a deliberate lack of technical jargon, making the book accessible to lay readers, as well as botanists. The sections on cultivation and propagation are very detailed. The appendix on naturalized palms in Hawaii is particularly fascinating.
      —West Hawaii Today
    • With an eloquent foreword by loulu enthusiast and Pulitzer Prize–winning US poet laureate William S. Merwin, the book explores the human history behind the palms from their importance to ancient Hawaiians to the intriguing lives and work of botanists and conservationists who have been honored with species that now bear their names. . . . With great detail and adeptness Hodel explains loulu distribution and ecology from island to island, covering climate types from sea shore to mountain top and detailing how hosts of unique factors form niches in which each different species is found. . . . This book deserves a place in the library of any lover of palms and native Hawaiian plants.
      —Jacob Uluwehi Knecht, Palms, the Journal of the International Palm Society, 57:3 (2013)
    • I am very enthusiastic about this book. It is a loving tribute to some very threatened, very beautiful palms. They are an irreplaceable part of Hawai‘i’s natural history and patrimony. I hope this book brings the plight of these precious palms to the attention of the world.”
      Scott Zona, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University
  • Supporting Resources