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Psydrax odorata facts for kids

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Psydrax odorata
Starr 041120-1013 Psydrax odorata.jpg
Scientific classification
Genus:
Psydrax
Species:
odorata
Synonyms
  • Coffea odorata G.Forst.
  • Canthium odoratum (G.Forst.) Seem.
  • Ixora odorata (G.Forst.) Spreng.
  • Plectronia odorata (G.Forst.) F.Muell.

Psydrax odorata, known as alaheʻe in Hawaiian, is a species of flowering shrub or small tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. It is native to the Pacific Islands, New Guinea and Australia.

Description

The species range from 6–30 ft (1.8–9.1 m) in height, has a spread of 3–7 ft (0.91–2.13 m), and a trunk width of up to 4 in (10 cm). The leaves are glossy green in colour, are up to 3.5 inches (89 mm) long and elliptic. The fruits of the plant are quite round, are black in colour and 3/8 wide.

Ecology

The fruits produce many seeds which are often attacked by the larvae of Alucita objurgatella, a species of the many-plumed moths.

Habitat

The species can be found growing in dry shrub land and in dry to moist forests at elevations of up to 2,700 feet (800 m).

Uses

Native Hawaiians used the very hard wood of alaheʻe to make koʻi alaheʻe (adzes for cutting softer woods such as Erythrina sandwicensis), ʻōʻō (digging sticks), and ʻo (short spears). A black dye was made from the leaves.

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