30 Common Trees in Hawaii (Native & Introduced Species)

The Hawaiian archipelago consists of 8 main islands and 124 islets.

The islands are volcanic and are some of the most isolated in the world, located close to the center of the Pacific Ocean, and far from all continents.

The islands are south of the Tropic of Cancer and are subject to the Northeast Tradewinds which greatly influences the weather. Many different weather patterns can be found throughout the islands, with windward slopes facing the Northeastern Tradewinds receiving abundant rainfall.

Leeward slopes away from the wind and this is where the majority of humans have settled.

The vegetation zones of Hawaii can be roughly divided into the coastal zone, lowland rainforest, montane rainforest, bogs, montane mesic forests and parkland, subalpine zone, alpine zone, and the dry leeward zone.

With so many different microclimates, a variety of trees can be grown in Hawaii, here are some of the most common.

30 Common Trees to Plant or Enjoy Looking at in Hawaii

1. Koa (Acacia koa)

Koa Tree
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

Koa is the largest Hawaiian native tree and is a fast-growing species. They feature a wide-spreading, umbrella-like canopy, and grow naturally in the upland forests of Hawaii, but are also planted for fast-growing shade or as a screen around the islands.

They grow best at elevations above 2000 ft but are often planted at lower elevations in residential areas. In the wild, Koa can reach heights of up to 100 ft, but will generally be much smaller and shorter-lived in cultivation.

Koa can either take on a shorter bushier aspect, or an upright growth habit. Koa wood is prized and used for making furniture, crafts, and instruments.

Other Common Names: Koaiʻa, Koaiʻe

Growing Zones: 10-11

Average Size at Maturity: 50-80 ft tall and 20-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: Seasonal or year-round, depending on location

2. Coconut Palm (Cocos nucifera)

coconut palm
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

The coconut palm is the true symbol of the tropics, and can be found in Hawaii in coastal areas. It’s a fast-growing tree in the right location. Coconuts were brought to Hawaii by humans, as they are considered an extremely useful tree as all parts can be processed for use.

Coconut Palms feature dense, large pinnate leaves, usually around 30, that measure between 10 and 23 ft long. They are dark green/yellow and drooping.

Coconut palms grow best in a sandy medium and require constant moisture when young but are drought tolerant once established. Coconuts grow best in areas with plenty of rainfall. If you don’t live in a coastal area, there are still plenty of other palm trees that can be cultivated in Hawaii.

Other Common Names: Coconut, Niu

Growing Zones: 10-11

Average Size at Maturity: 60-100 ft tall and 15-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: Year round, except when stressed from lack of water

3. Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)

breadfruit tree
Image by Scot Nelson via Flickr

Breadfruit is a staple perennial starchy carbohydrate (when picked unripe) in many tropical areas around the globe and can be found on all the main Hawaiian islands. The leaves are large and notched. Breadfruit trees are monoecious, with male and female flowers on the same tree.

The male flowers emerge first and are followed by the females which are then pollinated shortly after. The resulting fruit is 6-8” long and has an oval/round shape. The skin is thin and green, ripening to a paler shade of green with irregular bumps.

Breadfruit is one of the most productive food-producing trees in the world, with some trees capable of producing 200+ fruit the size of a grapefruit each year. It’s mostly found in lowlands and elevations below 2,130 ft but can survive up to 5,090 ft in certain areas. Breadfruit prefers sandy or sandy loam, loam, or sandy clay and can tolerate saline conditions.

Other Common Names: Ulu

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 30-50 ft tall and 8-10 ft wide

Flowering Season: Year-round

4. Screwpine (Pandanus odoratissimus)

Screwpine (Pandanus odoratissimus)
Image by coniferconifer via Flickr

The Screwpine can be commonly seen in Hawaii’s coastal zone, most abundantly on the island’s windward sides. It’s a very useful tree that has historically been utilized by native Hawaiians for numerous reasons. Screwpines can be found throughout the Pacific as the seeds float, meaning they spread easily. They can be found from sea level up to 2000 ft.

Screwpine features large aerial roots that twist around until they reach the ground. Trees can either be male or female, and both trees have large arching leaves. Females produce a large 8” pineapple-like fruit in the middle of the fronds.

Other Common Names: Hala, Hala Tree

Growing Zones: 10-11

Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 ft tall and 15-20 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring – summer

5. Royal Poinciana (Delonix Regia)

royal poinciana
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

Royal Poinciana are small flowering trees with fern-like leaves and a broad spreading canopy. They are planted for their stunning floral display in late spring to early summer. The flowers are scarlet-orange with white/yellow markings, are about 4” across, and are held in large clusters close to the tops of the branches. Flowers are followed by flat seed pods.

The leaves are feathery and split into many small leaflets. Royal Poinciana’s are fast-growing and are drought tolerant once established.

Other Common Names: Peacock Flower, Flamboyant, Flamboyant Tree, Flametree

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 30-40 ft tall and 40-70 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring – summer

6. Red Mangrove Tree (Rhizophora mangle)

red mangrove
Image by Katja Schulz via Flickr

Mangrove trees grow where no other tree could survive; in salty coastal areas. They can do this by keeping their special breathing roots (pneumatophores) above the water and secreting salt from their leaves.

They are important trees in tropical and subtropical areas where they serve to protect the trees from tidal damage and provide habitat for marine wildlife.

Mangrove forests are areas that bridge the gap between the sea and the land and as such inhabit an important liminal space. Red mangrove trees produce brown cylindrical fruit after small green/yellow star-shaped flowers on top of four leathery petals.

Mangrove trees propagate while still attached to the parent, becoming propagules and floating around until they find a suitable area to stop and take root.

Other Common Names: Red Mangrove

Growing Zones: 9-12

Average Size at Maturity: 20-75 ft tall and 20-30 ft wide

Flowering Season: Year-round

7. Noni (Morinda citrifolia)

noni tree
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

Noni is a small tree or shrub that is of significant medicinal value throughout the Pacific. Noni is known for its ability to thrive in a wide range of different environments, including very dry or wet areas, as well as very acidic or alkaline environments.

According to the University of Hawaii in the wild, it grows in lowland mesic sites as an understory tree close to the shoreline. It’s tolerant of wind, salt, fire, and flooding.

Noni has achieved recent fame due to the health benefits of the leaves and fruits. Noni is used in traditional agroforestry practices.

Other Common Names: Indian Mulberry

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 10-18 ft tall and 8-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: Year-round

8. Sausage Tree (Kigelia africana)

sausage tree
Image by Rod Waddington via Flickr

The Sausage Tree is a variable semi-deciduous tree with a large and dense spreading crown, usually with low hanging branches. It’s grown around the world in tropical and subtropical locations for its large flowers and curious, sausage-shaped fruits. In its native range, it’s an important medicinal plant where it is normally harvested from the wild.

Sausage trees feature a grey bark and bell-shaped flowers. The fruit are dense and fibrous, and are capable of weighing 22 pounds or more. Poisonous when raw, it must be fermented or roasted before consumption. It is used for a variety of medicinal applications as well as in brewing beer. The flowers are highly fragrant and attract a wide range of birds and insects.

Other Common Names: African Sausage Tree, German Sausage Tree, Cucumber Tree

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 50-60 ft tall and 40-65 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring and summer

9. Hawaiian Treefern (Cibotium chamissoi)

hawaiian tree fern
Image by David Eickhoff via Flickr

The Hawaiian Treefern is an evergreen tree with long fern-like fronds that can reach up to 6 ½ ft in length. It’s the most common tree fern in Hawaii and is native to most of the Hawaiian islands, in semi-wet to wet forests from sea level up to 5000 ft elevation, according to the Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service. They can be most easily spotted on the windward side of the islands (east).

Hawaiian Tree Ferns create an instant luxuriant tropical feel with their arching fronds and fresh green hue. They are a slow-growing species, growing about 3 ½” a year in youth, and less as the plant ages. Their popularity as landscaping plants coupled with their slow growth rate has made them endangered in their natural habitat.

Other Common Names: Chamisso’s Manfern, Häpu‘u

Growing Zones: 10-11

Average Size at Maturity: 15-20 ft tall and 10-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: N/A

10. Coast Sandalwood (Santalum ellipticum)

coast sandalwood
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

As the name implies, Coast Sandalwood can be found close to the sea shore, or less commonly on slopes or ridges and in rocky areas.

It’s a Hawaii native and can often be found in arid shrubland amongst non-native plants. The leaves are grayish/green and are either soft or leathery depending on the growing conditions. The green flowers are compound and the fruit ripens from purple to black and contains a single seed.

The heartwood of Coast Sandalwood contains a valuable essential oil used in perfumes, cosmetics, aromatherapy, making incense, etc. Grows best in loose, sandy, or medium loamy soils with good drainage.

It’ll tolerate nutritionally poor soils, acidic soils as well as drought, and full sun or light shade. The Coast Sandalwood produces tiny greenish/white, strongly fragranced flowers year-round, which are dioecious.

Other Common Names: Iliahialoʻe

Growing Zones: 9-12

Average Size at Maturity: 3-16 ft tall and 3-10 ft wide

Flowering Season: Year-round

11. Cannonball Tree (Couroupita guianensis)

cannonball tree
Image by Dinesh Valke via Flickr

The Cannonball Tree is a deciduous tree from the tropics. The flowers and fruit grow from the trunk, not the branch tips. The flowers are large and heavily fragrant, especially in the morning, and are salmon pink in color. Mature trees are capable of producing 800 flowers a day with 6 petals covering the stamens, and persist only for a day.

Large woody spherical fruit follows the flowers, taking 18 months to mature and look similar in size and shape to old cannonballs. Cannonball trees grow best in well-drained soil rich in organic matter.

Other Common Names: Cannonball Tree

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 50-75 ft tall and 15-30 ft wide

Flowering Season: Throughout the year

12. Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula)

golden shower tree
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

The Golden Shower Tree is a medium-sized, semi-deciduous tree popularly planted in subtropical and tropical regions. It’s planted for its long dangling golden/yellow summer flowers which hang down from old wood on long racemes. When in bloom, the tree is almost completely covered in flowers and devoid of foliage.

Young trees have a smooth greyish bark which becomes darker and rougher with age. The Golden Shower Tree grows best in well-drained soil, are drought tolerant once established, and can withstand some salt.

Other Common Names: Shower of Gold, Indian Laburnum, Purging Cassia, Pudding Pipe Tree

Growing Zones: 10b-11

Average Size at Maturity: 30-50 ft tall and 30-40 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring – Fall

13. ʻōhiʻa lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha)

ʻōhiʻa lehua
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

ʻōhiʻa lehua are one of the most common native Hawaiian trees and one of the most spectacular. It may appear as a tall tree or prostrate shrub, depending on the growing conditions. The blossoms are typically bright red, although sometimes yellow and orange, but always eye-catching.

ʻōhiʻa lehua is adapted to growing in volcanic areas and are typically the first trees to colonize a recent lava flow. They send out aerial roots from their branches in times of stress, allowing them to gather atmospheric moisture.

In traditional Hawaiian society, ʻōhiʻa lehua is associated with the volcano deity Pele. The flowers provide an important source of nectar for many birds including the emblematic honeycreeper.

Other Common Names: Ohi’a Lehua

Growing Zones: 10-11

Average Size at Maturity: 30-40 ft tall and 20-40 ft wide in cultivation

Flowering Season: Throughout the year depending on elevation. Flowers most abundantly in spring

14. Rose Apple (Syzygium malaccense)

rose apple tree
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

The Rose Apple is a small to medium-sized fruit tree with an ovoid, wide crown. It can be found mostly in tropical lowlands at elevations up to 4000 ft. the trunk is usually straight with low branching and the leaves are opposite, ovoid to elliptic.

The flowers are reddish/pink, shaped like pom-poms, and appear in clusters of 1-12 on bare branches. The fruit is dark red with pink or white strips, sometimes white or yellowish.

The fruit can be eaten raw, cooked with other fruit, or just appreciated for its aesthetic value. The Rose Apple grows best in heavy, moist well-draining soils. In Hawaii, they are often grown in mid-elevation rainforest as an understory tree.

Other Common Names: Mountain Apple, Malay Rose Apple, Otaheite Apple, Pommerac, Plumrose

Growing Zones: 12

Average Size at Maturity: 16-40 ft tall and 20-30 ft wide

Flowering Season: During hot and dry seasons

15. Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

tamarind tree
Image by Wendy Cutler via Flickr

Tamarind is a long-lived large tree with a dense spreading crown and (usually) evergreen feathery foliage but can be deciduous in the driest regions.

The flowers are fragrant and are followed by cinnamon/brown seedpods that are widely used as a food source in tropical regions. The leaves are 6” long and contain 10-18 pairs of 1” long oval-elliptic leaflets that cast a pleasant dappled shade.

Tamarind grows best in dry areas of the tropics, or at least in areas where there is a pronounced dry season. It prefers temperatures between 70 – 95 °F but can reportedly withstand 54 – 113 °F. Summer sees cream/pale, red-veined blooms. Tamarind trees are drought tolerant once established.

Other Common Names: Tamarind Tree

Growing Zones: 10-11

Average Size at Maturity: 40-60 ft tall and 30-50 ft wide

Flowering Season: Summer

16. Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum paniculatum)

hawaiian sandalwood
Image by David Eickhoff via Flickr

Hawaiian Sandalwood is found in dry forest areas growing on lava substrates, in humid forests. It’s a slow-growing small evergreen tree or shrub with greenish/blue, narrowly oval leaves. Small flowers are located on the ends of the branch tips. These are followed by black (purple when ripe) fleshy fruit with a single seed inside.

Hawaiian Sandalwood has been over-exploited for its heartwood which contains a valuable essential oil used in perfumery, incense, wood carving, furniture making, and other uses. Hawaiian Sandalwood is now endangered in its natural habitat.

It prefers light, sandy, or medium loamy well-drained soils and can grow in nutritionally poor soils. It’ll tolerate full sun, partial shade as well as coastal exposure.

The Hawaiian name translates as ‘sweet wood.’

Other Common Names: Mountain Sandalwood, Lāʻau

Growing Zones: 10-11

Average Size at Maturity: 10-33 ft tall and 10-23 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring – fall

17. Paraná Pine (Araucaria angustifolia)

paraná pine
Image by mauro halpern via Flickr

The Paraná Pine is a straight trunked tree with horizontal branches with a flat-topped crown with age. The bark is scaly, fine, and resinous, marked with horizontal lines. The branches are arranged in whorls of 4-8 and the needle-like leaves are sharp, dark green, or glaucous and persist for 10-15 years and cover the whole tree apart from the trunk and older branches.

The Paraná Pine is dioecious, with male and female cones appearing on different trees. Pollen cones are oblong and measure up to 7” long when mature. Seed cones mature 18 months after pollination. The seeds are similar to large pine nuts and are harvested and eaten, and enjoyed by wildlife. They’ll tolerate almost any soil type provided it’s well-draining but prefer slightly acidic soils.

Other Common Names: Brazilian Pine, Candelabra Tree, Brazilian Monkey Puzzle Tree

Growing Zones: 9-12

Average Size at Maturity: 80-100 ft tall and 20-25 ft wide

Flowering Season: N/A

18. Banyan Tree (Ficus benghalensis)

banyan fig
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

The Banyan Tree features a wide-spreading crown and dangling aerial roots which turn into woody trunks when they reach the ground. The leaves are ovate to elliptical. Banyan trees are monoecious, with male and female flowers appearing on the same tree and the fruit turn red/orange when ripe, and attract many birds.

Banyan Trees typically grow in tropical lowlands up to 4000 ft in elevation. The Banyan Tree is the national tree of India and can grow to be truly impressive, with the largest canopy of any tree in the world.

Other Common Names: Banyan Fig, Indian Banyan, Banyan Fig, East Indian Fig

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 70-100 ft tall and up to 650 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring

19. Jacaranda (Jacaranda mimosifolia)

jacaranda tree
Image by Teresa Grau Ros via Flickr

Jacaranda trees are popular throughout tropical and subtropical areas around the globe, including Hawaii. They are grown for their clusters of violet-blue trumpet-shaped flowers. Jacaranda are fast-growing trees and according to the Environmental Species Compendium are native to dry-mesic areas, riversides, and other riparian areas with some chance of becoming invasive.

The Jacaranda is usually a single-trunked tree with an oval spreading crown. The leaves are fern-like and bipinnately compound. Jacaranda prefers well-drained sandy loam that’s acidic to slightly alkaline.

Other Common Names: Blue Jacaranda, Black Poui, Fern Tree, Brazilian Rose Wood

Growing Zones: 9b-11

Average Size at Maturity: 26-50 ft tall and 40-60 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring and again in the fall

20. Trumpet Tree (Cecropia obtusifolia)

trumpet tree
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

The Trumpet Tree is a fast-growing, distinctive-looking tree that’s considered invasive in HI. It can be found along roadsides and abandoned fields in the low-lying tropical areas of America, where it’s native. Its many common names attest to its far reach.

The lobed leaves are deeply palmate, resembling a hand with long slender fingers. The inflorescence is borne on downward hanging spikes of female flowers which mature into dense bunches of tightly crammed fruit.

The Trumpet Tree features a hollow trunk and produces many seeds which are dispersed by birds. It’s naturalized on all the main Hawaiian islands except Maui. The leaves are dull green on top and dull grey underneath and form a unique silhouette against the sky due to its upright spreading form.

Other Common Names: Tree of Laziness, Guarumo, Pop-a-Gun, Snakewood

Growing Zones: 9-12

Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 ft tall and 20-30 ft wide

Flowering Season During the rainy season

21. Cook Pine (Araucaria columnaris)

cook pine
Image by Janaína de Oliveira via Flickr

The Cook Pine is a thin, narrow conical tree with short horizontal branches that emerge in whorls from the slender, slightly leaning trunk. The leaves are spirally arranged and overlapping. Juvenile leaves are needle-like whilst adult leaves are triangular and scale-like. The bark is tough, resinous, and gray, exfoliating in slim strips.

Cook Pine is dioecious, with cones appearing on separate male and female trees. Female cones are upright, scaly, and egg-like, and can be found on the upper branches. Male cones are scaly, dangling, and cylindrical, and can be found on the lower branches.

Other Common Names: New Caledonian Pine, Coral Reef Araucaria, Cook Araucaria, Column Araucaria

Growing Zones: 10-11

Average Size at Maturity: 160-200 ft tall and 30-50 ft wide

Flowering Season: N/A

22. Candlenut Tree (Aleurites moluccanus)

candlenut tree
Image by Leonora (Ellie) Enking via Flickr

The Candlenut Tree grows in lower to middle elevations in Hawaii in moist to relatively wet mesic areas. They feature a spreading canopy, covered in leaves that appear silvery green from afar. They feature 3,5,7 pointed tips, are hairy, pale green, and variable in shape, with young leaves being paler and hairier than older ones.

The Candlenut Tree is monoecious, with male and female flowers occurring on the same tree. The flowers are hairy and borne on terminal clusters. The Candlenut tree has many indigenous uses and has been named the state tree of Hawaii.

Other Common Names: Kukui, Indian Walnut, Candlenut, Kuikui, Kukui Nut Tree

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 30-50 ft tall and 30-50 ft wide

Flowering Season: March – April

23. Jackfruit Tree (Artocarpus heterophyllus)

jackfruit tree
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

Jackfruit Trees are evergreens with a dense canopy and produce the biggest fruit in the world, with the average fruit weighing 33 lbs, with some fruit weighing over 100 lbs. Mature trees can produce up to 200 fruit a year. Jackfruit leaves are thick and glossy, 6-8” long.

The Jackfruit tree is related to the breadfruit tree (Artocarpus altilis) and features a straight trunk branching from the base. Jackfruit has thick rubbery skin with blunt spikes and up to 500 (edible) seeds. In fact, all parts are edible apart from the core and skin.

Jackfruit Trees produce flowers on old branches and from the trunk and take 150-180 days to mature. Jackfruit Trees need rich, deep, and porous soil with a constant source of moisture. They don’t do well with drought or wet feet. Jackfruit trees have a long, deep taproot, so transplanting can be very difficult.

Other Common Names: Jakfruit, Jaca

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 50-70 ft tall and 20-50 ft wide

Flowering Season: December – March

24. Silk Oak (Grevillea robusta)

silk oak
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

The Silk Oak is a beautiful flowering evergreen tree, pyramidal in youth, developing horizontal branches when older and becoming broader on the top. Mature trees develop large orange/golden flowers 5” long, on spikes. The foliage is reminiscent of ferns, olive green in color and a foot long with a pale underside.

The Silk Oak is a native of Australia and grows best in well-drained acidic soils.

Other Common Names: Silkoak, Silky Oak, Silver Oak, Australian Silky Oak

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 20-100 ft tall and 16-65 ft wide

Flowering Season: Spring – summer

25. Be Still Tree (Thevetia peruviana)

be still tree
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

The Be Still Tree is a yellow flowering tree or shrub with 3” long, funnel-shaped flowers and 5 overlapping petals that open in a spiral pattern. They are followed by semi-rhomboid fruit that ripens from green to brown to black and contains two seeds. The leaves are glossy green on the top and paler on the underside, lanceolate in shape.

The Be Still Tree is a common landscape plant in Hawaii that has naturalized in some semi-wet mesic areas. All parts of the plant, especially the seed are extremely poisonous and can cause terrible illness or potentially death if ingested.

Other Common Names: Yellow Oleander, Lucky Nut, Yellow Bells

Growing Zones: 11-12

Average Size at Maturity: 20-30 ft tall and 20-30 ft wide

Flowering Season: Throughout the year in tropical areas

26. Scrambled Egg Tree (Cassia surattensis)

scrambled egg tree
Image by Steve Hoffacker via Flickr

The Scrambled Egg Tree features round-tipped leaves with 6-9 pairs of leaflets that are glaucous beneath. Yellow flowers appear in erect clusters on terminal racemes and are followed by long seed pods. Heavy flowering often causes the leaves to drop.

Left unattended, the Scrambled Egg Tree tends to develop into a dense shrub, but can easily be trained into a tree for landscaping purposes.

It’s common throughout the tropics including Hawaii for its potential year-round flowering. The Scrambled Egg Tree grows best in sandy soil in full sun or partial shade. It’s relatively short-lived; often between 5-10 years, sometimes 20. It requires no heavy pruning and is now naturalized in Hawaii.

Other Common Names: Singapore Sunshine Tree, Scrambled Egg Bush, Glossy Shower, Golden Shower, Sunshine Tree, Kolomona

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 12-15 ft tall and 12-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: May – June, October – November

27. Bangkok Teak (Tectona grandis)

bangkok teak
Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

Bangkok Teak is a large tree with an open crown and many small branches, native mainly to South East Asia. In seasonal climates, it can be deciduous, whereas in non-seasonal ones it can be semi-deciduous.

Teak is one of the most important timber species globally and is widely planted throughout the tropics for this purpose. It’s also planted in parks for its large leaves and wide-spreading flower clusters. It does best in areas with a defined wet and dry season.

Bangkok Teak grows best in deep, rich, and fertile soil with annual rainfall between 1,200 – 2,500mm. In agroforestry terms, teak is a pioneer species that can persist and regenerate until the climax phase, which is uncommon.

Other Common Names: Teak

Growing Zones: 10-12

Average Size at Maturity: 100-130 ft tall and 30-65 ft wide

Flowering Season: June – August

28. Milo (Thespesia populnea)

Milo tree
Image by David Eickhoff via Flickr

Milo is a coastal tree found in the tropics in close proximity to mangrove forests where it reproduces rapidly due to the hardy seed evolved for ocean dispersal.

It’s a fast-growing small tree or shrub with a dense broad crown that’s valued as an ornamental and for its desirable brown/red heartwood. It can tolerate sandy soils, and salt spray, but not shade. Whilst it’s a tropical species it’ll also withstand some light frost and heavier soils.

In many parts of the Pacific, it’s revered as a sacred tree and is planted close to temples. It also provides food, medicine, and other uses for locals.

Other Common Names: Portia Tree, Bendy Tree, Pacific Rosewood, Baru Baru, Baru Laut

Growing Zones: 9a-11

Average Size at Maturity: 20-33 ft tall and 10-12 ft wide

Flowering Season: Year-round

29. Jhalna (Terminalia myriocarpa)

Image by Forest and Kim Starr via Flickr

Jhalna is an important large evergreen timber tree with spreading branches that create a tiered form. The leaves are simple, alternate, and elliptical, with a straight trunk that can become slightly buttressed on older trees, supporting the wide-spreading crown of soft drooping branches. The bark is grey and smooth, flaky on older trees.

The Jhalna tree features small yellow flowers with light petals held on long slim clusters. These are followed by small green, winged seed pods, that turn a bright pink color when mature. Jhalna is often planted in parks to show off its delicate weeping form, or as a shade plant for cardamom. It’s also valued for making furniture as well as charcoal.

It can be found naturally in humid subtropical to tropical, mid to high elevations with a dry season of 5 months or less.

Other Common Names: East Indian Almond, Hollock

Growing Zones: 11-12

Average Size at Maturity: 50-82 ft tall and 40-60 ft wide

Flowering Season: Summer- Autumn or the rainy season

30. Hawaiian False Mulberry (Streblus pendulinus)

hawaiian false mulberry
Image by David Eickhoff via Flickr

The Hawaiian False Mulberry is a small and slender tree or shrub native to wet and dry forests of the islands. The leaves are finely toothed and arranged in two rows, dark green and hairless above and light green with raised yellow veins below. The bark is light gray and smooth.

Hawaiian False Mulberry is mostly dioecious, with separate male and female trees. Produces shiny black/purple fleshy fruit (drupe) ⅜” long with a juicy sweet flavor, that contains a rounded stone inside. Is reportedly found in Kauai, Oahu, Lanai, Molokai, Maui, and Hawaii islands.

Other Common Names: A’ia’i, Roughbush, Hawaii Roughbush, Isaac Wood, Sia’s Backbone

Growing Zones: 11-12

Average Size at Maturity: 15-30 ft tall and 12-15 ft wide

Flowering Season: Year-round

Land of Plenty

Hawaii is an abundant and fertile tropical island chain. The islands contain a wealth of different microclimates depending on the elevation, rainfall, and many other factors, meaning that many different varieties of trees can be grown.

The planting zones of Hawaii are great to help you work out which trees are most suited to the area you live in.

Native vegetation will look very different by the coast, or high up in the mountains, whether you’re facing the wetter, windward side, or the drier leeward side.

Thanks to the abundant rainfall, mild climate, and fertile volcanic soils, Hawaii residents can experiment with planting many different trees, or simply enjoy them in the wild or in public spaces.

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