Alphabetical Listing of Species with Brief Descriptions
ACACIA koa (Mimosoideae)
A most important timber tree of Hawaii. Light to dark wood used for all manner of cabinetry, furniture and crafts. Very handsome. Grows 50-100′ tall. A high elevation tree, 2500’+.
ACACIA koaia (Mimosoideae) “Koai’a”
Closely related to Acacia koa, this tree has denser wood. This is a beautiful small tree with a straight truck and round canopy. Grows to 35′ tall. Hard wood rarely available. Excellent windbreak.
ACROCARPUS fraxinifolius (Caesalpinioideae)
Fast growing timber species with straight bole, medium value wood used for furniture. Also appreciated for its ornamental value, and used to shade understory crops. A beautiful straight tree.
ALBIZIA saman (Mimosoideae)
“Monkeypod,” “Rain tree”
Timber if grown densely spaced to encourage straight boles. Chocolate heartwood contrasted with yellow sapwood valued for furniture, cabinets, veneer, etc. Used for pasture improvement. Isolated trees have spreading crown, provide abundant shade. It has a huge canopy.
ARTOCARPUS heterophyllus (Moraceae) “Jackfruit”
Timber very durable and esteemed for its resistance to insect damage. Highly valued for fruit, fodder, dye and medicine. Excellent windbreak species. Seedlings from selected varieties. Seasonal availability.
ASTRONIUM graveolens (Anacardiaceae)
“Tiger wood, Goncalo alves”
Highly regarded for its durability, the dense light brown to red brown wood is used for all manner of fine woodworking. A very fine tree.
CAJANUS cajan (Papilionoideae)
A short-lived perennial tree/shrub used for food, fodder, fuel wood, windbreak. Should be cut during periods of vigorous growth leaving minimum of 10% of foliage. Prolific and fast growing nitrogen fixer.
CALOPHYLLUM inophyllum (Guttiferae)
Highly regarded craft wood throughout the Pacific region, one of Hawaii’s most expensive woods. Used also as windbreak and quite ornamental.
CEDRELA odorata (Meliaceae)
Wonderful, hardy, fast growing hardwood tree. The wood of Spanish cedar is used for making furniture. It is one of the most aromatic woods with a wonderful scent. It grows in the forests of Central America with Honduran mahogany.
CHENOPODIUM oahuense (Chenopodiaceae)”‘Aweoweo
Hawaiian shrub grows in the dryland forest and apline regions. Good for erosion control.
COPROSMA rhynchocapra (Rubiaceae) “Pilo”
Endemic Hawaiian understory forest tree occurs in the mesic forest, wet forest, and sub-alpine regions. Produces orange berries for native birds.
CYBISTAX donnell-smithii (Bigoniaceae)
“Gold tree” or “Prima vera”
Yellow-brown and striped wood used occasionally for veneering and cabinet work; this highly ornamental tree also yields stunning masses of yellow flowers. There are only a few flowers hardwoods. This one is a beauty.
DALBERGIA retusa (Papilionoideae)
Extremely durable and valuable wood usually dark brown. Rare, this wood is sold by the pound. Trees from select seed.
DALBERGIA turcurensis (Papilionoideae) “Granadillo”
Valuable wood is orange to brown with violet or purple stripes
DIOSPYROS sandwicensis (Ebebaceae)
This is a dominant tree in the dryland forest. Endemic to Hawaii. Good for woodworking. Slow growing. Considered sacred in Hawaiian culture. Hawaiian ebony.
DODONAEA viscosa (Sapindaceae) “‘A’ali’i”
Native Hawaiian shrub or tree occurs at the coast, dryland forest, wet forest, and alpine regions. Good for erosion control.
ENTEROLOBIUM cyclocarpum (Mimosoideae)
“Ear pod tree”
Reddish-brown heartwood is fairly durable and used for construction and paneling. Used extensively in agroforestry for shade and fodder. Also quite ornamental with a spreading crown if grown alone. Nitrogen fixing.
ERYTHRINA sandwicensis (Papilionoideae) “Native Wili Wili”
Light wood used for canoe outriggers, surfboards, floats, etc. Highly ornamental and suited to very dry areas.
EUCALYPTUS deglupta (Myrtaceae)
Heartwood light red, light brown, or dark red brown. Commonly used in reforestation. Seed is becoming rare.
EUCALYPTUS dunnii (Myrtaceae) “Dunn’s White Gum”
Timber useful for construction, and light interior work. Trees are suitable for windbreak.
EUCALYPTUS microcorys (Myrtaceae)
Tolerant of partial shade, this tree yields a yellow-brown heartwood. Popular for dance flooring. Very nice tree.
EUCALYPTUS robusta (Myrtaceae)
Beautiful, rich wood with red variations, popular flooring.
EUCALYPTUS saligna (Myrtaceae) “Blue Gum”
Gorgeous, straight, fast growing tree, somewhat shade tolerant. Used for flooring. Short rotation, 12-15 years.
FLINDERSIA breyleyana (Rutaceae) “Queensland Maple”
A medium-brown wood in demand for fine furniture and cabinetry.
GLIRICIDIA sepium (Papilionoideae)
“Madre de cacao”
Very flexible in management, widely adapted. Mulch, living fence, shade, fodder, fuelwood. Can also be used in shelter belts. This is a great nitrogen fixer. Use the trimmings around your trees.
Kadua affinis (Rubiaceae) “Manono”
Mesic and Wet forest Hawaiian understory species in the Rubiaceae family (Coffee family). Inconspicuous flowers, and dark purple fruit that the birds like.
HIBISCUS arnottianus (Malvaceae)
Native Hawaiian hibiscus from the island of O’ahu. This lovely shrub produces fragrant flowers throughout the year. It is a forest hibiscus. The flowers are elegant with separated petals and a deep red stamen.
HYMENEA courbaril (Caesalpinioideae)
Grown commercially for its high-value timber and high-grade resin, this trees is also used as a shade tree and as an ornamental for its clusters of white flowers. Very slow growing.
ILEX anomala (Aquifoliaceae) “Kawa’u”
Endemic Hawaiian understory forest tree in the mesic forest and wet forest. It produces purple berries that the Hawaiian birds eat.
JACARANDA mimosaefolia, (Bigoniaceae) “Jacaranda”
A highly ornamental flowering tree with abundant violet blossoms, this tree yields medium-brown wood.
KHAYA senegalensis (Meliaceae)
Rich mahogany-brown wood used for furniture, cabinets, flooring and boat building. This is a gorgeous and popular tree.
METROSIDEROS polymorpha (Myrtaceae)
Primary successionary tree which is dominant in the dryland forest, mesic forest, and wet forest of Hawaii. It is the foundation of the Hawaiian forest. Beautiful rosey and grey tones in the hard wood.
MICROLEPIA strigosa (Dennstaediaceae)
Gorgeous Indigenous Hawaiian forest fern, with lacy, graceful leaves and a soft scent. This fern was used for adornment and for hula altars.
MYOPORUM sandwicense (Myoporaceae) “Naio”
Endemic Hawaiian. Low growing form grows at the coast. Upright shrub grows in the dryland forest, mesic forest, wet forest, and alpine regions. Good for erosion control. Hard wood.
MYRSINE lessertiana (Myrsinaceae) “Kolea”
Endemic Hawaiian tree in the mesic forest, wet forest, and sub-alpine regions. Young leaves are pink. Produces purple berries for native birds.
OCHROMA pyramidale (Bombascaceae)
Well known for very light-weight blond wood. Beautiful, fast growing tree. Used for making surf boards
OSTEOMELES anthyllidifolia (Rosaceae) “‘Ulei”
Indigenous Hawaiian many branching shrub. The long, flexible branches were shaped into hoops for fishnets. Occurs in dry to mesic forest, and in montane sites.
PIPTURUS albidus (Urticaceae)
Endemic Hawaiian understory forest tree occurs in the mesic forest and wet forest. Food plant for endemic Hawaiian butterflies. Leaves are collected for delicious tea.
PISONIA brunoniana (Nyctanginaceae) “Papala kepau”
Large indigenous Hawaiian forest tree with soft wood. Lightly fragrant flowers and sticky seeds. Called “the bird catcher tree” because Hawaiians used the seeds to catch birds for their feather making.
PTEROCARPUS macrocarpus (Mimosoideae) “Padauk”
Excellent red-brown wood is ranked among the finest for interior work, furniture, etc. Durable when exposed to weather.
REYNOLDSIA sandwicensis (Reynoldsia)
Endemic Hawaiian deciduous tree which occurs in the dry forest and occasionally the mesic forest. Beautiful growth habit and bronzy trunk. This is a hardy tree that doesn’t get too large, 35′, and is lovely.
RUBUS hawaiensis (Rosaceae) “‘Akala”
Viney endemic Hawaiian shrub occurs in the mesic forest, wet forest, and sub-alpine regions. Edible berries.
SENNA siamea (Caesalpinioideae
High value craftwood with a striking zebra grain. Can be pruned periodically for abundant mulch production. Also used to shade understory crops. Quite ornamental. A smaller hardwood.
SANTALUM paniculatum (Santalaceae) “Sandalwood”
High value aromatic wood prized for incense and crafts. Endemic to Hawaii. Rare. Slow growing.
SAPINDUS saponaria (Sapindaceae) “Manele”
Deciduous endemic Hawaiian tree occurs in the mesic forest. Beautiful, large Hawaiian forest tree.
Sophora chrysophylla (Fabaceae)
Endemic Hawaiian shrub or small tree occurs in the dry forest and montane regions. Hard wood. The seeds are an important food source for Hawaiian birds.
SWIETENIA macrophylla (Meliaceae)
” Honduran Mahogany”
Highly valued mahogany of tropical America, used in fine quality furniture and cabinetry. Trees also used for shade and ornament. This is a beautifl tree.
SWIETENIA mahogani (Meliaceae)
“West Indies Mahogany”
Considered perhaps the best quality mahogany wood, this tree is now rare. Slow growing tree. Smaller than Honduran mahogany. Seedlings from select trees.
A stunning tree that flowers totally yellow in spring. It is a fine hardwood for building, furniture, etc. Super hardwood. Doesn’t rot.
TAMARINDUS indica (Caesalpinioideae)
Hard, dark red timber used by artisans and furniture makers. Used extensively for food, medicine, shade and windbreak. Ornamental. Drought tolerant.
THESPESIA populnea (Malvaceae)
Highly valued low elevation Hawaiian hardwood. Dark-grained wood. Valuable craftwood also used for windbreak, shade, and traditional Hawaiian medicine. Likes to branch and be shrubby.
Toona ciliata (Meliaceae)
“Australian red cedar”, “Toon”
An important timber of Australia, Papua New Guinea, SE Asia, and India. Grown commercially in the Pacific. Fast growing hardwood with buttressed base. Excellent red wood.
WIKSTROEMIA sandwicensis (Thymelaeaceae) “Akia”
Low shrub or mat with small round leaves and red berries. Used by Hawaiians for stupifying fish. Popular ground cover.