From Common Forest Trees of Hawaii

`Ohe Makai
Polyscias sandwicensis
Ivy/Pennywort/Devil's Club family (Araliaceae)

Native species ()

This distinctive tree of dry forests is easily recognized by its stout smooth, light gray trunk with spreading of stout crooked branches, clear yellow brown tasteless resin, and large leaves with 7–11 wavy margined heart-shaped at base. Also, many small greenish flowers in large branched clusters are conspicuous mostly in early spring while the tree is leafless.

©2005 Forest And Kim Starr
A tree 15–50 ft (4.6–15 ) high with stout trunk 1 1⁄2–2 ft (0.5–0.6 ) in diameter, leafless from late fall until after spring rains. Bark light gray, smooth, becoming slightly warty and fissured. Inner bark is light brown or whitish streaked, slightly bitter, yielding yellow brown tasteless gum. Branches stout but easily broken. Twigs are few, stout, 5⁄8–3⁄4 inch (1.5–2 ) thick, light gray, with broad crescent-shaped leaf-scars, powdery hairy when young. End bud conical, less than 1⁄4 inch (6 ) long, covered by overlapping

Leaves crowded at end of twig, 10–12 inches (25–30 ) long, powdery hairy when young, becoming hairless, with slender light green axis enlarged and almost clasping at base and ringed at base of mostly 7–11, paired except at end, hairless, on slender stalks of 3⁄8–1 inch (10–25 ), broadly 2–4 inches (5–10 ) long and 1 1⁄4–3 1⁄4 inches (3–8 ) wide, blunt at heart-shaped at base, wavy margined, slightly thickened and fleshy, dull light green above, paler beneath.

Flower clusters () 1–3, 3–8 inches (7.5–20 ) long, with stout axis and many slender spreading branches, resinous. Flowers many, greenish, on short slender stalks, from elliptical green resinous buds more than 1⁄4 inch (6 ) long, composed of conical base () 1⁄8 inch (3 ) high, five tiny teeth, 8–10 narrow petals 1⁄4 inch (6 ) long, 8–10 spreading with petals, and with inferior of 8–10 cells, very short in thick and 8–10 dot stigmas in conical mass.

(berries) are rounded about 5⁄16 inch (8 ) in diameter, with stigmas at purplish, juicy, bitter, becoming dry with ridges. Seeds (nutlets) 10 or fewer, elliptical, flattened, 3⁄16 inch (5 ) long.

The soft whitish wood is not presently used. The Hawaiians made stilts from it for a game. The resin or gum was also used.

Scattered in dry lowland areas, especially aa or rough lava fields, to 2600 ft (792 ) elevation; becoming rare.

Special areas
Waimea Arboretum, Wahiawa, Volcanoes.

Height 48 ft (14.6 ), c.b.h. 6.7 ft (2 ), spread 23 ft (7 ). Puuwaawaa, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii (1968).

This is found on Niihau, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii, but is absent from Kauai.

Other common names
‘ohe-kukuluae‘o, ‘ohe

Reynoldsia sandwicensis Gray, Reynoldsia degeneri Sherff, R. hillebrandii Sherff, R. hosakana Sherff, R. huehuensis Sherff, R. mauiensis Sherff, R. oblonga Sherff, R. venusta Sherff

In the broad sense this in Hawaii has a single variable species, though once divided into eight. A few others are found in Polynesia.

cm -- A centimeter which is about 0.4 inches.

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

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.

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.

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

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

terminal -- Located at the end (the tip or the apex).

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.

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

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.

canopy -- The foliage of a tree; the crown. Also the upper layer of a forest.

leaflets -- Each little leaf-like thing in a compound leaf is a leaflet.

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.

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.

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

deciduous plants are those that lose all of their leaves for part of the year.

pinnate -- A compound leaf with two rows of leaflets.

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.