Pāpala kēpau

Pāpala kēpau

Common Name: Australasian Catchbird Tree 

Scientific Name: Pisonia brunoniana 

Year Nominated: 2017

Nominated By: Karl Magnacca

Height: 53 feet

Circumference: 130 inches

Crown Spread: 32 feet

Total Points: 191

Location: Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai’i

Range: Pāpala Kēpau can be found in dry to mesic forests at elevations ranging from 1,395 to over 4,000 feet.

About this species: This species is native  to the main Hawaiian islands of O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lāna`i, Maui, and Hawai`i. The fruit of the Pāpala Kēpau is extremely sticky and will trap small creatures and insects that, if caught, will eventually succumb to a slow death. The sticky material produced by Pāpala Kēpau fruit was traditionally used by early Hawaiians to catch native birds, who’s colorful feathers were plucked and used to create vibrant cloaks, helmets, lei, images, and kāhili. This species was also used for medicinal purposes. The tree’s mily sap was used to heal cuts while its cooked leaves could be used to cure pāʻaoʻao (childhood disease with physical weakening) and for lepo paʻa (constipation).

View another Hawai‘i Big Tree Champion:

Aalii || Hau || Kāwaʻu || Koa || Kokiʻo Keʻokeʻo || Kōlea lau nui || Lama || Lonomea || Māmane || Mānele || Maʻo hau hele || Neneleau || Niu || ‘Ōhi‘a ai || ‘Ōhi‘a ha || Olopua || Pāpala kēpau || Wiliwili