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Munroidendron racemosum
Alternative Botanical Names
Tetraplasandra racemosa
Common Names
Potential or Traditional Uses
Photo of Munroidendron racemosum
Munroidendron racemosum is a 25 foot tall tree with a straight trunk and spreading branches. It has smooth, gray bark. The 12 inch long leaves are made up of many oval leaflets each of which is over 3 inches long. These trees drop most of their leaves during their summer blooming season. The small, pale yellow flowers hang in long, loose bunches. (Wagner 1990)
Habitat and Geographic Range
Munroidendron racemosum is an extremely rare endangered endemic plant from Kaua'i. It grows in moist forests from 390 to 1,300 feet. It occurs naturally in only 3 locations on Kaua'i: Nounou Mountain, Napali cliffs, and Ha'upu Ridge near Nawilili Bay. (Wagner 1990)
Propagation by Seeds
According to Obata, flowering season for Munroidendron racemosum is variable having been observed in both spring and fall. Fruits mature in about 75 days.

The seeds of Munroidendron racemosum are contained in a pulpy fruit. NTBG recommends removing the pulp by washing the fruits through a strainer. The seeds will germinate without removal of the pulp, but there are less insect and disease problems if the seeds are cleaned. After discarding the pulp, soak the seeds in cold water for 24 hours. Discard any floating seeds and dry the rest. Plant the dried seeds in a mixture of 3 parts perlite to 1 part peat or cinder.

Ragone reported a 52% germination rate within 36 days for fresh seed with no pretreatment. However, seed viability rapidly declined when stored at 80 degress F and 25% relative humidity. After 10 months of storage, the germination percentage had dropped to 1% or less. Using a 24 hour cold water soak pretreatment on seeds stored for 9 months resulted in an increase of germination percentage to 11%, but it took 6 months for all of these seeds to germinate. Obata characterized the germination rate for this plant as "fair" and observed that trees grown from seed bloomed in 4 years. (Obata 1973; Obata 1979; NTBG 1992; Ragone 1993)

Propagation by Cuttings
No information located to date.
Propagation by Division
Not applicable.
Propagation by Air Layers
No information located to date.
Propagation by Grafting
No information located to date.
Propagation by Tissue Culture
No information located to date.
National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG). 1992. Munroidendron. In Native Hawaiian plant information sheets. Lawai, Kauai: Hawaii Plant Conservation Center. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Unpublished internal papers.

Obata, John K. 1973. Propagating native Hawaiian plants (continued from February 1973). Newsletter of the Hawaiian Botanical Society 12 (2):9-11.

Obata, John K. 1979. Letters to the Editor [Munroidendron racemosum]. Newsletter of the Hawaiian Botanical Society 18 (1/2):31.

Ragone, Diane, (Program Coordinator). 1993. Hawaii Plant Conservation Center - Collection & Propagation Project: Final Report (USFWS Grant 14-48-0001-92581). Lawai, Hawaii: National Tropical Botanical Garden. p. 13.

Wagner, Warren L., Darrel R. Herbst, and S. H. Sohmer. 1990. Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i. 2 vols., Bishop Museum Special Publication 83. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press. p. 229.

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The image in this record is used with permission from Dr. Gerald Carr's Web site "Hawaiian Native Plants" at

Last updated:
1 September 2001

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