Hō‘awa (Pittosporum hosmeri)

Hawaiian name: Hō‘awa
Botanical name: Pittosporum hosmeri
Family: Pittosporaceae (Pittosporum Family)
Status: Endemic
Where found: Hawai‘i Island
Water/Light: Dry to wet, sun to part shade
Elevation range: 1,100-3,200 ft
Height: 10-26 ft

Photos by Forest and Kim Starr

Notes: The orange seed pods of this tree open to reveal black seeds which are a food source for the endangered native crow, ‘alalā. The flowers have a sweet smell in the afternoon and evening. Since it is not a Maui species, it is important not to plant it in wild areas or plant any of the offspring from this tree in Maui’s forests; however, you can donate fruits to the Maui Bird Conservation Center.

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