Alaa Plant Information

Alaa grows in the following 1 states:


Pouteria sandwicensis is a species of flowering tree in the sapodilla family, Sapotaceae, that is endemic to the main islands of Hawaii. Names for this species in the Hawaiian language include laa, ulu and laa.

laa inhabits dry, coastal mesic, and mixed mesic forests at elevations of 240-980m (790-3,220ft).laa reaches a height of 15m (49ft) and a trunk diameter of 0.4m (1.3ft). The thick bark is grey and fissured, with an orange inner layer. The leaves are alternate, thick, leathery, oblong or elliptical, and measure 6-14cm (2.4-5.5in) long and 3-6cm (1.2-2.4in) wide. The upper surfaces of the leaves are glabrous and shiny green, while the lower surfaces are dull and may feature bronze or reddish brown pressed hairs. The hairs are sometimes found only on the tips of new leaves (see photo gallery below). Inflorescences with one to four bell-shaped flowers are found at the bases of leaves. The fruit, a berry, is 3-4cm (1.2-1.6in) in diameter and yellow, orange, or purplish black. Each fruit contains one to five seeds, which are about 2cm (0.79in) long and yellow brown.
The wood of laa is yellow with black streaks, extremely hard, and close grained.Native Hawaiians used it in house construction and to make the pale (gunwales) of waa (outrigger canoes), (digging sticks), and ihe (spears). The sticky, milky sap was used as a kol (glue) for weapon and tool handles and as kpau (birdlime), much like papala kepau (Pisonia spp.).
Media related to Pouteria sandwicensis at Wikimedia Commons Data related to Pouteria sandwicensis at Wikispecies

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