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Bobea timonioides
Alternative Botanical Names
Obbea timonioides
Common Names
Potential or Traditional Uses
Photo of Bobea timonioides flowers and leaves
Bobea timonioides is a small tree which grows to about 30 feet tall. The 4 to 5 inches long leaves have a papery or leathery texture. The small trumpet-shaped flowers are green and slightly fragrant. (Wagner 1990)
Habitat and Geographic Range
Bobea timonioides is a rare endemic Hawaiian tree. It grows in dry to damp forests at elevations from 800 to 1,900 feet. It is uncommon in the wild, but has been found in the Puna and South Kona districts of the island of Hawai'i and the southern slopes of Haleakala on Maui. (Wagner 1990)
Propagation by Seeds
Bobea timonioides bears oval fruit about 1/2 inch long containing 2 to 7 seeds. Lilleeng-Rosenberger suggests ripening the fruit in a plastic bag to soften the pulp. After this, the seeds can be removed from the pulp more easily. Separate the seeds from the fruit by soaking them in cold water for 24 hours. Discard the pulp and wash the seeds in a strainer. Fresh seeds germinate best, but germination time varies from one to six months.

For the related species, Bobea sandwicensis, repondents to the Stratton et al survey suggest planting the seeds 1/8 inch deep in a medium composed of either 3 parts perlite #2 to 1 part Sunshine Mix #4 or 4 parts cinder to 1 part soil. Keep the medium moist and in a shaded area until the seeds germinate.

For storage, seeds of Bobea sandwicensis should be separated from the pulp and air-dried. The seeds should then be kept in an envelope or paper bag cool, dry (25% relative humidity) place. (Lilleeng-Rosenberger 1998; NTBG 1998; 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.
Lilleeng-Rosenberger, Kerin. 1998. Propagation techniques for native Hawaiian plants. Newsletter of the Hawaiian Botanical Society 37 (2):33-35.

National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG). 1998. Native Hawaiian plant: 'Ahakea. 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 Unpublished internal papers.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. 1118.

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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:
11 March 2000

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