Common Name: Soapberry
Scientific Name: Sapindus oahuensis
Year Nominated: 2017
Nominated By: Karl Magnacca
Height: 60 ft
Circumference: 56.4 in
Crown Spread: 27 ft
Total Points: 123
Location: Pahole Gulch, O’ahu
Range: This species is endemic to Hawaii and can be found in mesic to dry forests on Kauai and Oahu at elevations between 200 to 2,000 feet.
About this species: While the fruits produced by this tree resemble dates and have a fragrance similar to figs or raisins, they are not edible. Lonomea are distinguishable by the rough light gray to white bark covering older branches and yellow-brown fuzz that coats younger branches. Lonomea has a white trunk that sharply contrasts its dark green leaves.
Significance: Traditionally, the hard black seeds produced by Lonomea were used for medicinal purposes and strung to make permanent lei. The tree’s hard wood was also used to make spears.
View another Hawai‘i Big Tree Champion:
A‘ali‘i || Hau || Kāwaʻu || Koa || Kokiʻo Keʻokeʻo || Kōlea lau nui || Lama || Lonomea || Māmane || Mānele || Maʻo hau hele || Nenelau || Niu || ‘Ōhi‘a ai || ‘Ōhi‘a ha || Olopua || Pāpala kēpau || Wiliwili