From Common Forest Trees of Hawaii

Melicope clusiifolia
Rue Or Citrus family (Rutaceae)

Native species ()

Shrubs and small trees known as alani are easily recognized. However, this variable Melicope, is one of the largest of woody plants in Hawaii in number of species. The is characterized by leaves paired, or in whorls of three or four, rarely five or six, with dots visible under a lens; small flowers at leaf bases, mostly greenish, four-parted; and seed capsules four- or splitting into four parts.

©2002 Forest And Kim Starr
This species with several varieties is one of the most common and is widely distributed through the islands. It is characterized by short-stalked thick leathery elliptical leaves broadest beyond middle, attached mostly four at a A shrub or small tree to 30 ft (9 ) tall, hairless nearly throughout. Twigs gray, with ringed ending in a narrow bud of very young hairy leaves.

Leaves usually with four at a rarely three to six, with short leafstalk of 3⁄8–3⁄4 inch (1–2 ). Blades elliptical or mostly 2–4 1⁄2 inches (5–11 ) long and 1 1⁄4–2 inches (3–5 ) wide, stiff and brittle, rounded or slightly notched at blunt or short-pointed at base, turned under at edges, above very shiny green, beneath shiny light green with purplish black many fine parallel side veins with network of smaller veins, and with tiny dots visible under a lens.

Flower clusters () on twigs mostly on the back of leaves, less than 3⁄4 inch (2 ) long. Flowers of one or both sexes (polygamous), short-stalked, few, nearly 1⁄4 inch (6 ) long. Male flowers consist of four blunt less than 1⁄8 inch (3 ) long, four narrow petals nearly 1⁄4 inch (6 ) long, eight and a rudimentary Female flowers are similar, with eight minute sterile and on a the with four- short and four-

(capsules) clustered on twigs behind leaves, shallowly four- 3⁄8–5⁄8 inch (10–15 ) in diameter, hard, wrinkled, greenish, the rounded splitting on a line. Seeds 1–2 in each 1⁄8 inch (3 ) long, rounded, shiny black.

The wood of all species is yellowish white, fine-textured, tough, but rather soft. It was used by the Hawaiians for kapa beaters and for canoe trim and rigging.

This species with several varieties is widespread and common in wet forests through the islands.

Special areas
Kokee, Haleakala, Volcanoes

Through the six large islands of Hawaii only.

Pelea clusiifolia A.Gray

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

cm -- A centimeter which is about 0.4 inches.

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

Glands are plant structures that secrete liquids, salts or other substances. Glands often appear as hairs with a drop of liquid at the end.

stigma - The tip of a pistil that receives the pollen.

disc flowers are those in the center of a sunflower or daisy. Not a ray flower.

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.

midrib -- The central and most prominent vein of a leaf or leaf-like thing.

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

alternate -- leaves alternate along the main stem and are attached singly.

cyme -- Multiple flower stalks emerge from a single point and the flowers at the end bloom first.

obovate -- Teardrop-shaped, stem attaches to tapering point.

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.

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

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

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

whorled -- The leaves are arranged in whorls of 3 or more leaves along the stems of a plant.

synonym -- In botany a synonym is a species name that at one time was thought to be the correct name for a plant but was later found to be incorrect and has been replaced by a new name.

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

Usually green, sepals typically function as protection for the flower in bud, and often as support for the petals when in bloom.

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.