Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Alphitonia ponderosa
Wagner et al., 1990, 1999.
   Rhamnaceae -- The Buckthorn Family Bibliography
      Alphitonia ponderosa

Common name(s): kauila, kauwila, o`a (Maui)
General Information
DistributionIn the Hawaiian Islands, endemic to Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Click here for detailed USGS map by Jonathan Price
Trees 4-25 m tall, bark whitish, deeply corrugated in drier habitats.
Leaves somewhat to distinctly coriaceous, ovate, elliptic-ovate, or oblong-ovate to lanceolate, (6-)8-15(-22.5) cm long, (2.5-)3.5-7(-9.6) cm wide, upper surface dark green, somewhat glossy, glabrate, lower surface densely rusty tomentose at least when young, occasionally turning white in age, or all of the hairs deciduous except those in the impressed areoles between the veins, or rarely the entire surface glabrate, margins entire, apex usually acuminate, but sometimes acute or even obtuse, petioles 1.6-5 cm long, tomentulose, ± sparsely so with age.
Flowers in thyrses usually 6-8 cm long, rusty tomentose throughout, peduncles 6-10 mm long, pedicels 3-6 mm long, angled, with small bracteoles at base; sepals deltate, 1.5-2.5 mm long, rusty to whitish tomentose, the inner face glabrous; petals spatulate, ca. 1.5 mm long, each one partly enclosing a stamen; nectary disk pentagonal.
Fruit black, subglobose, 14-18 mm in diameter, indehiscent to tardily dehiscent, the surface wrinkled, floral tube enclosing ca. 1/2 of the fruit.
Seeds brown, oblong, ca. 6 mm long, covered by a thin red aril.