Pleomele (genus)

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Starr 030222-0004 Pleomele auwahiensis.jpg
Pleomele auwahiensis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Monocots
Order: Asparagales
Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Nolinoideae
Genus: Pleomele

See text

Pleomele is a genus of flowering plants, sometimes placed in the genus Dracaena. In the APG III classification system, both genera are placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae (formerly the family Ruscaceae).[1] The Hawaiian name for plants in this genus is hala pepe, which translates to crushed or dwarfed Pandanus tectorius.[2]




Native Hawaiians combined the bark and leaves of hala pepe with the root bark of ʻuhaloa (Waltheria indica) and popolo (Solanum americanum), and a section of kō kea (Saccharum officinarum) to treat high fever and chills. Hala pepe bark, roots, and leaves were combined with ʻōhiʻa ʻai (Syzygium malaccense) bark, ʻuhaloa and popolo taproot bark, ʻalaʻala wai nui pehu (Peperomia spp.) stems, noni (Morinda citrifolia) fruit, kō kea, niu (coconuts, Cocos nucifera), and pia (Tacca leontopetaloides) to treat lung disorders.[3]


The soft wood of the trunk was carved by Native Hawaiians into kiʻi. Hala pepe represented the goddess Kapo on the kuahu (altar) within a hālau hula (building which hula was taught or performed). It along with ʻieʻie (Freycinetia arborea), maile (Alyxia oliviformis), ʻōhiʻa lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) and palapalai (Microlepia strigosa) were the five essential plants at the hula altar.[2]


  1. ^ Chase, M.W.; Reveal, J.L. & Fay, M.F. (2009). "A subfamilial classification for the expanded asparagalean families Amaryllidaceae, Asparagaceae and Xanthorrhoeaceae". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 132–136. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00999.x 
  2. ^ a b Medeiros, A. C.; C.F. Davenport; C.G. Chimera (1998). "Auwahi: Ethnobotany of a Hawaiian Dryland Forest" (PDF). Cooperative National Park Resources Studies Unit, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa: 19. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "hala pepe, ieie, kuhaʻo, ku la". Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database. Bernice P. Bishop Museum. Retrieved 2009-11-20. 
  4. ^ "Pleomele Salisb. hala pepe". PLANTS Database. United States Department of Agriculture. Retrieved 2009-11-20.