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Wikstroemia monticola

Wikstroemia monticola Skottsb.

Montane False Ohelo

Thymelaeaceae (Mezereum family)



USDA Native Status: HI (N)

"Small trees up to 3 m tall; young branches appressed pubescent." (bibref:1798).

"In the Hawaiian Islands, endemic to Maui." (webref: 49).


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub , Tree
Leaf Arrangement: Opposite
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Margin: Entire
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual
Inflorescence: Axillary , Terminal
Fruit Type: Drupe
Leaf: "Leaves membranous or coriaceous, ovate or narrowly to broadly elliptic, 2-5.5 cm long, 0.6-2.8 cm wide, glabrous, apex and base acute or rounded, often ± tapering toward base, petioles 2-3 mm long, glabrous or puberulent." (bibref:1798).
Flower: "Flowers unisexual, greenish yellow, puberulent, becoming glabrate, peduncles very short, hirsute, rachis clavate, 2-11 mm long, hirsute, pedicels 0.8-3 mm long; calyx tube of staminate flowers 4-8.5 mm long, outer lobes 1.7-3.5 mm long, 1.3-3.5 mm wide, inner lobes 1.5-3.2 mm long, 1-3.4 mm wide; calyx tube of pistillate flowers 4-5.5 mm long, outer lobes 2-3.5 mm long, 1.5-3.4 mm wide, inner lobes 1.6-3 mm long, 1.4-3.4 mm wide." (bibref:1798).
Fruit: "Fruit dark red, elliptic, 7-13 mm long, 4-10 mm in diameter." (bibref:1798).

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow , Green


Native Distribution: Endemic to the eastern side of the Hawaiian island of Maui.
Native Habitat: "Rather common on 'a'a lava and in pastures, often in association with Lantana camara and other alien vegetation, (250-)450-1,220 m, East Maui." (bibref: 1798). This taxon grows "on ‘a‘a lava flows, pastures, often with alien vegetation such as lantana (250–) 450–1220 m". (webref: 47).

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low , Medium
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist


Warning: This taxon and all others in the family Thymelaeaceae are "poisonous to mammals, containing tricyclic daphnane and tiglane diterpenes, esters of daphnetoxin, and coumarins. The bark and fruit can be extremely irritating to mucous membranes even after drying and cause contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals." (webref: 3).
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds
Deer Resistant: No
Poisonous: yes


Bibref 1798 - Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, Revised Edition (1999) Wagner, W.L.; Herbst, D.R.; Sohmer, S.H.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 49 - Flora of the Hawaiian Islands (2020) Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
Webref 47 - Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database (2020) Bishop Museum
Webref 31 - Native Plants Hawai’i (2018) University of Hawaii
Webref 28 - NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life (2018) NatureServe

Additional resources

USDA: Find Wikstroemia monticola in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Wikstroemia monticola in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Wikstroemia monticola


Record Modified: 2020-11-02
Research By: JAM

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