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Touchardia latifolia - Gaudich.

Common Name Olona
Family Urticaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Mesic valleys and wet forest at elevations from 70 - 1,200 metres[417 ]. Deep ravines[454 ].
Range Pacific - Hawaii.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (0 of 5)
Care (info)
Tender Moist Soil Wet Soil Full shade Semi-shade
Touchardia latifolia Olona

Touchardia latifolia Olona
Public Domain


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Touchardia latifolia, commonly known as Olana, is a flowering shrub about 1 to 3 m tall endemic to Hawaii. The leaves, arranged alternately, vary in shape from thin lanceolate to broad elliptic. Female flowers are orange berry-like achenes while male flowers are white. No plant part is edible and of medicinal value. The bark yields strong, light, and water resistant fiber with is used for making fish lines, nets, in feather capes and helmets, musical instruments, weapons, fine cloth, etc. Plant is grown from cuttings. Transplanting is not ideal because the roots of Olana are fragile.

Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Touchardia latifolia is a SHRUB growing to 2 m (6ft 7in) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 10.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid, neutral and basic (mildly alkaline) soils. It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) or semi-shade (light woodland). It prefers moist or wet soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map


No synonyms are recorded for this name.


Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

None known

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

Basketry  Fibre  Musical  String

Other Uses: A fibre obtained from the bark is strong, light, and water-resistant[417 ]. 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 ]. The fibre is suitable for making fine cloth[454 ]. The plants are best cut when a little over a year old and their thick stems stripped of the loosely adhering bark[640 ]. The extraneous pulp is then scraped away the with a blade[640 ].

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

The plant grows best at elevations from 300 - 1,500 metres[640 ]. The plant flourishes best in a deeply shaded woodland position with hardly any clearing[640 ].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Seed -

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here


Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

United States

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : This taxon has not yet been assessed

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.


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Botanical References

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Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here
A special thanks to Ken Fern for some of the information used on this page.

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