Psydrax odorata

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Psydrax odorata
Starr 041120-1013 Psydrax odorata.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Rubiaceae
Subfamily: Ixoroideae
Tribe: Vanguerieae
Genus: Psydrax
Species: P. odorata
Binomial name
Psydrax odorata
(G.Forst.) A.C.Sm. & S.P.Darwin[1]
  • Coffea odorata G.Forst.
  • Canthium odoratum (G.Forst.) Seem.
  • Ixora odorata (G.Forst.) Spreng.
  • Plectronia odorata (G.Forst.) F.Muell.

Psydrax odorata, known as alaheʻe in Hawaiian, is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae.[3] It is native to the Pacific Islands, New Guinea and Australia.[1][4]


The species range from 6–30 ft (1.8–9.1 m) in height, has a spread of 3–7 ft (0.91–2.13 m),[5] and a trunk width of up to 4 in (10 cm).[6] The leaves are glossy green in colour, are up to 3.5 inches (89 mm) long and elliptic. The fruits of the plant are quite round, are black in colour and 3/8 wide.[5]


The fruits produce many seeds which are often attacked by the larvae of Orneodes objurgatella, a species of moth.[5]


The species can be found growing in dry shrub land and in dry to moist forests at elevations of up to 2,700 feet (800 m).[5]


Native Hawaiians used the very hard wood of alaheʻe to make koʻi alaheʻe (adzes for cutting softer woods such as Erythrina sandwicensis), ʻōʻō (digging sticks), and ʻo (short spears). A black dye was made from the leaves.[4]


  1. ^ a b c "Psydrax odorata". World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved March 23, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Canthium odoratum (G. Forst.) Seem.". ITIS Standard Reports. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Psydrax odorata (G. Forst.) A.C. Sm. & S. Darwin". The PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Psydrax odorata". Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Retrieved March 23, 2009. 
  6. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). "Alaheʻe" (PDF). Common Forest Trees of Hawaii (Native and Introduced). United States Forest Service. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Psydrax odorata at Wikimedia Commons