Pāpala kēpau is a small tree indigenous to Hawaii. Shiny green leaves are entire and oppositely arranged or whorled. Greenish-white flowers grow in clusters and are slightly fragrant. The fruits of pāpala kēpau are the most exciting feature. Purple in color, they are incredibly sticky.
In the old days, birds were caught using clusters of the sticky fruit. Feathers were plucked off before setting the birds free. Today, small unsuspecting critters like lizards, bugs, and birds get caught up in the fruit clusters. They get stuck to everything, dogs, shoes, hair — plant in an area where the pods won’t be bothersome.
The sap and leaves were used as medicine and as a glue to repair cooling implements.
- Cultural significance
- No dangers