From Common Forest Trees of Hawaii

Perrottetia sandwicensis
Shi Chi Hua Ke family (Dipentodontaceae)

Native species ()

This species, widespread in wet forests through the Hawaiian Islands, is the only native species of its family. It is an shrub or small tree to 23 ft (7 ) high, with finely pinkish tinged elliptical leaves. The bark is gray, smoothish to finely fissured; inner bark gray, slightly bitter. Branches are sometimes long and drooping. Twigs green or reddish, hairless or nearly so, ending in small hairy buds of 1⁄8 inch (3 ), composed of tiny pointed or that fall early.

©2003 Forest And Kim Starr
Leaves with slender pinkish leaf-stalks of 3⁄8–1 1⁄4 inches (1–4 ). Blades elliptical or 2–5 inches (5–13 ) long and 1–3 inches (2.5–7.5 ) wide, short- to long-pointed at blunt or rounded at base, finely on edges, thin, becoming hairless, upper surface slightly shiny green with pinkish and curved side veins, light green beneath.

Flower clusters () at leaf bases, 1 1⁄2–4 inches (4–10 ) long, much branched. Flowers are many, very small, of one or both sexes (polygamo-), short-stalked, 1⁄16 inch (1. 5 ) long and broad, greenish red, composed of five pointed reddish tinged five orange green pointed petals; five from a with petals, much longer and spreading widely (short in female flowers); and with two-celled and short two-forked

() round and slightly flattened, 3⁄16 inch (5 ) in diameter, bright red, juicy, with at base and black at Seeds 2–4, 1⁄16 inch (1.5 ) long, rounded, shiny green, smooth, sticky.

The wood is described as golden brown with reddish tint, moderately hard, and straight grained. Hawaiians made fire by friction by rotating a piece of this hard wood on a piece of the soft wood of hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus).

The trees are attractive in October and November, bearing numerous clusters of drooping red berries. Fairly common in moist wet forests at 1000–6000 ft (305–1829 ) altitude, throughout the islands.

Special areas
Kokee, Haleakala, Volcanoes

Hawaii only

Other common names
waimea, pua’a olomea

This honors George Samuel Perrottet (1793–1870), Swiss-born French botanical explorer, and contains about 15 species scattered from tropical America to Asia.

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.

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

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

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.

scale -- A very small leaf around a dormant bud. Also other things that might remind one of fish scales on the surface of ferns, stems and the like.

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.

Like the teeth on a saw, leaves and other surfaces can have toothed edges.

A panicle is a much-branched inflorescence. The bottom flowers in a panicle open first.

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.

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

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

ovate -- Oval, egg-shaped, with a tapering point.

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

The botanical term "berry" is different from common usage. Strawberries and raspberries are not berries. But a tomatoe is. A true berry is a fruit with the seeds immersed in the pulp.

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.