Kamani (Calophyllum inophyllum)

Hawaiian name: Kamani
Botanical name: Calophyllum inophyllum
Family: Clusiaceae
Status: Polynesian-introduced
Where found: Maui, Moloka‘i, Hawai‘i, O‘ahu & Kaua‘i
Water/Light: Full sun, dry to wet
Elevation range: 0 to 660 feet
Height: 25 to 60 feet, 40 foot spread

From Work Done by Whit Germano to Catalog Native Hawaiian Plants

Photo Courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr

Notes: Kamani was brought to Hawai`i by early Polynesian settlers. The wood was fashioned into many objects including canoes, `umeke (containers), trays (called pa kamani), and food bowls. There is no bitter taste or odor to kamani wood, making it perfect for use as food vessels. The fruit husk yields a brownish/mauve kapa dye, and kamani oil is useful in waterproofing kapa cloth. Kamani flowers smell similar to orange blossoms and were used to give fragrance to newly pounded kapa cloth. In old Hawai‘i, the bark resin of kamani was used in a medicinal treatment for ulcers.

Photo: MNBG

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A Few Native Hawaiian Plants from the MNBG Collection