Aleurites moluccana (kukui)
Euphorbiaceae | Mala Maununu
Native To:Malaysia, Western Polynesia
Plant Habit:Tree-like, 10-20 m tall
Lower mountain areas,
Kukui was brought to Hawai‘i by the Polynesians when they first arrived. The flowers of this plant were often chewed by parents and then put into a child’s mouth to help heal sores. The most common use for the nuts was fuel for candles and lights. This led to the tree sometimes being called the Candlenut tree. The nuts could also be burned to create a dark ashe that was used for tattoos and to paint canoes.
The Kukui Tree is the Hawai‘i state tree.