Kukui Tree – 6″


Aleurites moluccanus, the candlenut, is a flowering tree in the spurge family, Euphorbiaceae. Both the nut and the oil can be extracted from it and used for a variety of nutritional and cultural purposes. While mildly toxic when raw, the nut is appreciated in many cultures once cooked or toasted. A Hawaiian condiment, and key ingredient in tradition poke, is known as `inamona created from roasted kukui mixed into a paste with salt. In ancient Hawai`i, kukui nuts were burned to provide light.

Hawaiians had many other uses for the tree including the creation of lei from the shells, leaves, and flowers; ink for tattoos from charred nuts; a varnish with the oil; and fishermen would chew the nuts and spit them on the water to break the surface tension and remove reflections, giving them greater underwater visibility. A red-brown dye was made from the inner bark and used on kapa and aho. A coating of kukui oil helped preserve ʻupena (fishing nets) while the tree itself could be sculpted into small canoes. Due to its multitudes of use, Kukui was named the state tree of Hawaii on May 1, 1959.

10 in stock

SKU: KUKPLNT6 Category:


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