Aleurites moluccana

Aleurites-moluccana tree


Euphorbiaceae | Mala Maununu



The Euphorbiaceae, the spurge family, are a large family of flowering plants.

Native To:

Malaysia, Western Polynesia

Plant Status:


Plant Habit:

Tree-like, 10-20 m tall

Plant Habitat:

Lower mountain areas, warm weather

Cultural Uses

Kukui was brought to Hawaiʻi by the Polynesians when they first arrived. The flowers of this plant were often chewed by parents and then placed 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 dark ash that was used for tattoos and to paint canoes.

Interesting Fact

The Kukui Tree is the Hawaiʻi state tree.

Learn more about Aleurites moluccana (kukui)