Common Name: Oahu Soapberry
Oahu soapberry is a tree growing from 6 - 15 metres tall. The bole is usually quite short and about 20cm in diameter[
The tree has minor local medicinal uses.
The tree is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN List of Threatened Species.
Pacific - Hawaii.
Various forest types at elevations up to 610 metres[
]. Moist to dry forests[
]. A tree of the lower forest zone[
Prefers a position in full sun[
]. Very tolerant of a wide range of well-drained soils, including those that are dry, stony and nutrient deficient[
The seeds are cathartic[
]. One dose comprises 6 - 7 seeds[
The whitish wood is of no value[
Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe[
]. There are conflicting reports on the usefulness of scarifying the seed, with some saying it makes no difference to germination rates and times, and others that it speeds up germination. If you scarify, then be careful not to harm the embryo. Soaking the seed for 24 hours in warm water after scarification might also be helpful[
]. Germination of untreated seeds or of seeds which have been scarified takes 1 - 6 months and the germination rate is variable since the seeds tend to rot[
The best germination results have been achieved when the seed was scarified with a clippers or a knife and then it was either kept in clean, moist vermiculite for 1 - 2 weeks, or was soaked in a shallow pan of water until the dark outer seed coat became soft (changing the water daily until this happened)[
]. Once the outer coat is soft, it can be removed by hand or with a small knife and then the thin papery brown inner coat should be carefully peeled off. This procedure leaves the cream coloured embryo exposed. Handle the embryo carefully so that the embryonic root is not damaged. The embryo should be planted immediately in sterile potting soil, burying it 10 - 20mm deep. With this method, germination takes place in about a week and the germination rate is almost 100%[
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