Common Name: Alexandrian Laurel
Scientific Name: Calophyllum inophyllum
Range/ Habitat: The Kamani tree grows well at low elevations and tolerates salt spray and salty soils. Many Kamani trees grow in East Hawaii island.
About this Species: The kamani tree has many uses—its strong timber, which boat builders of former times used for hulls and keels, and its nuts, which were used for lamp oil, skin problems, and massage. The reddish-brown hardwood that kamani trees produce has been widely used for such items as canoes, houses, and pā kamani, which include bowls and trays used for food. Hawaiian residents of a former era extracted a dye from kamani nuts, which they used to dye kapa cloth a brown shade.
Photos by Forest & Kim Starr.