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Useful Tropical Plants

Touchardia latifolia

Gaudich.

Urticaceae

+ Synonyms

Common Name: Olona

Touchardia latifolia
Plant growing in native habitat
Photograph by: Forest and Kim Starr
Creative Commons License

General Information

Olona is a shrub growing 1 - 3 metres tall,
The plant yields a very high quality fibre, said by some to be one of the best and strongest in the world[
509
Title
The Indiginous Trees of the Hawaiian Islands
Publication
 
Author
Rock J.F.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
 
Year
1913
ISBN
 
Description
A guide to the trees and forests of Hawaii. Rather dated, but a good work. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
640
Title
Occasional Papers of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Vol. 11
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bishop Museum Press; Honolulu
Year
1903 - 1907
ISBN
 
Description
Includes an article on the fibre plants of Hawaii.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References


Range

Pacific - Hawaii.

Habitat

Mesic valleys and wet forest at elevations from 70 - 1,200 metres[
417
Title
Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/index.asp
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details on over 100 species of Hawaiian plants.
]. Deep ravines[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitShrub
Height2.00 m
Cultivation StatusWild

Cultivation Details

The plant grows best at elevations from 300 - 1,500 metres[
640
Title
Occasional Papers of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Vol. 11
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bishop Museum Press; Honolulu
Year
1903 - 1907
ISBN
 
Description
Includes an article on the fibre plants of Hawaii.
].
The plant flourishes best in a deeply shaded woodland position with hardly any clearing[
640
Title
Occasional Papers of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Vol. 11
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bishop Museum Press; Honolulu
Year
1903 - 1907
ISBN
 
Description
Includes an article on the fibre plants of Hawaii.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

None known

Other Uses

A fibre obtained from the bark is strong, light, and water-resistant[
417
Title
Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/index.asp
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details on over 100 species of Hawaiian plants.
]. A very good quality fibre, highly prized for its tenacity and durability, it is used traditionally for making fish lines, netting, in feather capes and helmets, as well as ki-leaf rain capes, in musical instruments; in weapons such as daggers, clubs. Also used in conjunction with Freycinetia arborea in twined basketry[
417
Title
Hawaiian Ethnobotany Online Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www2.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/index.asp
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
Brief details on over 100 species of Hawaiian plants.
]. The fibre is suitable for making fine cloth[
454
Title
Useful Fiber Plants of the World
Publication
 
Author
Dodge C.R.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org/
Publisher
USDA; Washington.
Year
1897
ISBN
 
Description
A rather dated, but very comprehensive catalogue of fibre plants from around the world. The book can be downloaded from the Internet.
].
The plants are best cut when a little over a year old and their thick stems stripped of the loosely adhering bark[
640
Title
Occasional Papers of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Vol. 11
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bishop Museum Press; Honolulu
Year
1903 - 1907
ISBN
 
Description
Includes an article on the fibre plants of Hawaii.
]. The extraneous pulp is then scraped away the with a blade[
640
Title
Occasional Papers of the Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum Vol. 11
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Bishop Museum Press; Honolulu
Year
1903 - 1907
ISBN
 
Description
Includes an article on the fibre plants of Hawaii.
].

Propagation

Seed -

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