image description

Photo Credit: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Sapindus_oahuensis

QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE
  • SYNONYMS Sapindus lonomea
  • ELEVATION RANGE Mid
  • FAMILY Sapindaceae
  • PLANT TYPE Large tree
  • WATER REQUIRMENTS Drought tolerant
  • SOIL REQUIRMENTS Tolerates many soil types
  • SUN EXPOSURE Full sun to Partial sun
  • SALT TOLERANCE Unknown
  • DRAINAGE REQUIRED Requires good drainage
  • PROPAGATION METHODS Seeds

Sapindus oahuensis
(O`ahu soapberry, soapberry, kaulu, lonomea, )

Lonomea is the endemic soapberry species that grows only on Kauai and Oahu. It is related to the indigenous species, Sapindus saponaria, or manele which is found on Hawaii Island, Mexico, South America, Africa, and the Pacific basin. This tree can grow 30 to 50 feet tall, and is a great xeric tree for drought-prone areas. Once established, water once a month only the during driest months; over-watering may result in stem rot. The roundish or oval fruits resemble dates, smell like figs or raisins, but are not edible. The flesh of the fruit creates suds like soap when mixed with water and can be used as such. Trees are best grown from seeds after cleaning and scarifying. Seeds were also used by early Hawaiians for medicinal purposes and in seed leis. The wood was sometimes used for spears and other tools.

Plant Uses

  • Privacy-screening plant
  • Specimen
  • Windbreak
  • Shade
  • Medicinal
  • Cultural significance
  • Lei flower
  • Fragrant
  • Woodworking

Dangers

Toxic to animals-humans