Big Tree: Wiliwili

Big Tree: Wiliwili


Common Name: Hawaiian Coral Tree

Scientific Name: Erythrina sandwicensis 

Year Nominated: 2014

Nominated By: Jen Lawson- Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative

Height: 40 ft

Circumference: 186.96 in

Crown Spread: 43.50 ft

Total Points: 237.84

Location: Waikoloa Dry Forest, Hawai’i 

Range: Wiliwili can be found growing in dry forests on all the main Hawaiian islands at elevations of  1,950 feet.  

About this species: This species is endemic to Hawaii and will grow in harsh environments where few species can survive. Wiliwili tree populations can have a variety of different colored flowers or be composed of flowers of a single color. Dissimilar to most Hawaiian tree species, Wiliwili trees are deciduous. This species will hibernate and lose its foliage during the hottest summer months and return to life during the winter. The Wiliwili was saved from extinction six years ago when an unidentified gall wasp wiped out the native Wiliwili population on Maui. The lightweight wood of the Wiliwili tree was used by early Hawaiians to build canoes, fishing gear containers, and surfboards. Flowers were used to make lei and for medicinal purposes, to cure venereal diseases.

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