From Common Forest Trees of Hawaii

Coprosma montana
Madder family (Rubiaceae)

Native species ()

The Coprosma, common name pilo, has about 13 named species of shrubs and small trees through the Hawaiian Islands. These species have paired short-stalked small elliptical leaves with paired scalelike pointed hairy remaining on the slender twigs, small greenish or white flowers male and female on different plants, with tubular 4–9- one to many borne mostly at leaf bases, and small round yellow, orange, or black with two nutlets. One example follows.

©2003 Forest And Kim Starr
shrub or small tree to 26 ft (8 ) high and 3 inches (7.5 ) in trunk diameter. Bark gray, smooth or slightly fissured. Twigs slender, green to gray, finely hairy.

Leaves hairless, with short slender leaf-stalks less than 1⁄4 inch (6 ) long, and pointed hairy 1⁄8 inch (3 ) long, remaining at ringed Blades elliptical or lance-shaped, 3⁄8–1 inch (10–25 ) long and 1⁄4–1⁄2 inch (6–13 ) wide, slightly thickened or thin, blunt or short-pointed at both ends, dull green above, paler beneath.

Flowers male and female on different plants (), single, stalkless or nearly so on twigs behind leaves, about 1⁄4 inch (6 ) long. Female flowers have a cup-shaped base () with teeth, short tubular with 5–6 curved back, and with inferior two-celled and two Male flowers have as many as attached near base of tube and extending beyond.

() are rounded, 1⁄4 inch (6 ) in diameter, with teeth at shiny yellow to dark orange, turning black, containing two half-round nutlets. The has a disagreeable flavor.

Wood light brown, hard. In another species of the whitish yellow and soft.

The Coprosma is widespread in wet forests and mountain through the Hawaiian Islands. This species extends in mountains to high elevations, 6000–10,000 ft (1830–3048 ) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. Other species reach tree size frequently in forests at 4000–8000 ft (1219–2438 ).

Special areas
Haleakala, Volcanoes, Kipuka Puaulu

Height 35 ft (10.7 ), c.b.h. 3.7 ft (1.1 ), spread 29 ft (8.8 ). Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Humuula, Hawaii (1968).

Restricted to Maui and Hawaii

Other common names
pilo kuahiwi (meaning mountain pilo), hupilo, mirrorplant

node -- The point at which there is attached growth, as in the place where each leaf is attached.

cm -- A centimeter which is about 0.4 inches.

m -- A meter is about 10% larger than a yard.

stipule -- A leaf-like structure that occurs where the leaf joins the stem; stipules often occur in pairs.

dioecious -- When male and female reproductive structures are on separate plants.

endemic -- when restricted to a certain country or area.

style -- This is a long and thread-like structure that connects the stigma with the ovary. A flower may have a single style, or several of them.

The apex is the tip or the furthest point from the attachment.

A pistil is the female structure of many flowers. It contains one or more carpels. Each carpel contins an ovary, style and stigma. The stigma receives the pollen which grows thru the style to reach the ovary.

An evergreen tree retains a large portion of its green leaves all year.

In an opposite leaf arrangement the leaves come in pairs with one leaf on each side of a stem.

lobe -- Rounded parts of a leaf (or other organ). Lobes bulge out about 1/4 of the leaf diameter.

calyx -- the sepals of a flower, typically forming a whorl that encloses the petals and forms a protective layer around a flower in bud.

fruit -- any seed-bearing structure in flowering plants. It is formed from the ovary after flowering.

shrubland -- Arid lands characterized by shrubs, grasses and a lack of trees.

drupe -- A fruit in which an outer fleshy part surrounds a hardened shell containing a seed. A peach is a drupe. A raspberry is composed of drupelets.

alpine -- above the tree line. Thin soil, rocks, short growing season, frost, winter snow.

The hypanthium or floral cup is a cup-like structure formed by the fused bases of the stamens, petals, and sepals.

mm -- millimeter. About 1/25th of an inch.

corolla -- The name for all the petals of a flower taken together.

stamen -- the pollen-producing reproductive organ of a flower; The stamen consists of an anther supported by a filament.

An ovary is a part of the female reproductive organ of the flower. Above the ovary is the style and the stigma, which is where the pollen lands and germinates to grow down through the style to the ovary.

genus -- A subdivision of a botanical Family in which all members have a significant number of similar characteristics.