Pritchardia pacifica

From Palmpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah) pacifica (pah-sihf-EE-kah)
Pritchardia pacificas younger zoo.jpg
Younger Plant, Hawaii.
Scientific Classification
Genus: Pritchardia (pritch-AHR-dee-ah)
Species: pacifica (pah-sihf-EE-kah)
None set.
Native Continent
Habit: Solitary
Leaf type: Palmate
Survivability index
Common names
Polynesian Names: Piu (Niue, Futuna, Samoa, Tokelau, Tonga, ʻUvea); Niu pui (Samoa); Niu sakiki (Fiji); Viu (Fiji). Fiji fan palm.

Habitat and Distribution

Fiji, Marquesas, Marshall Is., Niue, Samoa, Society Is., Solomon Is., Tonga, Trinidad-Tobago, and Vanuatu. Known only from cultivation, typically around sites of human activity, sometimes escaping and groWing wild in nearby secondary growth, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Niue, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, French Polynesia, 0-100 m elev. Native to Tonga (ʻEua and Vavaʻu) and appears to be an ancient introduction to Fiji, Samoa, the Marquesas, and Tokelau. Introduced and commonly used in the Hawaiian Islands in landscapes. Here pictured in Waipahu (Waipiʻo), Oʻahu, Hawaii.

HBG - Big Island, Hawaii.

Pritchardia pacifica is native to Tonga. It is also found on Fiji, Samoa, and the Marquesas however these populations are likely to be human introductions. (Dr. P. Goltra)


Solitary palm to 15 m tall; proximal margins of petiole with only a few fibers; leaf blade undulate, divided 1/4-1/3, slightly waxy-glaucous, abaxial surface more or less devoid of lepidia, segment tips stiff; inflorescences composed of 1-4 panicles, shorter than to equaling petioles in flower and fruit, panicles branched to 2 orders, rachillae glabrous; fruits 11-12 mm in diam., globose. Editing by edric. (Hodel, D. 2007)/Palmweb. Editing by edric.

Pritchardia pacifica is distinguished by its rounded, undulate leaf blades with stiff segment tips and abaxial surface more or less devoid of lepidia, inflorescences shorter than or equaling the petioles, and small S-38 fruits. Perhaps the most widely cultivated species of the genus in tropical landscapes and gardens, it is among the most handsome of palms. Truly natural populations of Pritchardia pacifica are unknown. Dennis and McQueen (1989) reported it groWing wild on Nggela Island north of Guadaleanal in the Solomon Islands but referred to it as P. wood(ordiana, a name of no botanical standing. Pritchardia pacifica has erroneously been reported to be growing wild on Eua Island in Tonga (Lister 1893, Beccari & Rock 1921, Watling 200S), but the species there is actually P. thurstonii. Burkill (1901) reported P. pacifica on Vavau Island of Tonga, but I have not seen the specimen at K to verify its identity. (Hodel, D. 2007)/Palmweb.


Comments and Curiosities

External Links


Phonetic spelling of Latin names by edric.

Special thanks to Geoff Stein, (Palmbob) for his hundreds of photos.

Special thanks to, Dr. John Dransfield, Dr. Bill Baker & team, for their volumes of information and photos.

Glossary of Palm Terms; Based on the glossary in Dransfield, J., N.W. Uhl, C.B. Asmussen-Lange, W.J. Baker, M.M. Harley & C.E. Lewis. 2008. Genera Palmarum - Evolution and Classification of the Palms. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. All images copyright of the artists and photographers (see images for credits).

Hodel, D. 2007.

Many Special Thanks to Ed Vaile for his long hours of tireless editing and numerous contributions.

Back to Palm Encyclopedia