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Waltheria indica
Alternative Botanical Names
Waltheria americana
Waltheria pyrolaefolia

Common Names
'Ala'ala pu loa
Hala 'uhaloa
Potential or Traditional Uses
Photo of Waltheria indica
Waltheria indica is a small shrub 2 to 6 feet tall with velvety hairs covering all parts of the plant. The oblong to oval leaves are up to 6 inches long and 2 inches wide with toothed edges and conspicuous veins. The fragrant yellow flowers grow in small, dense clusters in the leaf axils. (Wagner 1990)
Habitat and Geographic Range
Waltheria indica is found throughout the tropics and is considered by Wagner et al to be indigenous to Hawai'i. It grows on dry, often disturbed, sites from sea level to almost 4,000 feet on all of the main islands and on Midway Atoll. (Wagner 1990)
Propagation by Seeds
The fruit of Waltheria indica is a small, round, dry capsule containing one seed.

Waltheria indica can be grown from seed. Collect the tiny capsules when they are mature, but before they have turned completely brown. Dry them in a paper container for about a week and sift the resulting material though a strainer to separate the seeds.

NTBG suggests sowing the seeds on the surface of a planting mix consisting of 2 parts sterile potting soil to 1 part perlite or fine cinder. Stratton's informants suggest planting the seeds 1/8 inch deep in a mixture of 3 parts #2 perlite to 1 part Sunshine Mix #4. Keep the mix damp until germination, but avoid excessive moisture. Place the containers in a shaded area. Using a covered area will allow better control of soil moisture and prevent rain damage. Germination takes 1 to 3 months.

To store the seed of Waltheria indica, clean and air dry it and place it in a paper bag or envelope. The seeds can then be stored in an airtight container with dessicant in a cool place at 25% relative humidity. (NTBG n.d.; Stratton 1998; Wagner 1990)

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). n.d. 'Uhaloa. In Native Hawaiian plant information sheets. Lawai, Kauai: Hawaii Plant Conservation Center. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Unpublished internal papers.

Stratton, Lisa, Leslie Hudson, Nova Suenaga, and Barrie Morgan. 1998. Overview of Hawaiian dry forest propagation techniques. Newsletter of the Hawaiian Botanical Society 37 (2):13, 15-27.

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. 1280.

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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:
4 April 2000

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