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Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands

traditional trees pacific islandsSpecies Profiles for Pacific Island Agroforestry - Ecological, Economic, and Cultural Renewal

by Craig R. Elevitch (editor)

A project to educate extension agents, farmers, ranchers and landowners about native and traditional trees for:

  • Crop diversification
  • Windbreaks
  • Coastal protection
  • Shelter and shade
  • Soil improvement
  • Water conservation
  • Livestock fodder
  • Woodlots
  • Food security
  • And many other applications

This book is out of print (as of Sept. 2008)
Check Amazon.com for used copies
Download chapters here

Additional Information

Hardcover - 816 pages
Full color - over 800 photographs
Format - 9" X 11" (22.8 x 27.9 cm)
Weight: 7 lb (3.2 kg)
Release date: July 2006
Publisher: Permanent Agriculture Resources
ISBN: 0970254458

Review excerpts

"This is an excellent publication for general reference and extension purposes throughout the humid tropics. It is indeed a 'royal' treat for those who like tropical  trees, nature, ecosystems, people, and traditions. Craig Elevitch and colleagues deserve highest appreciation for their remarkable feat in bringing out this excellent book."—P. K. Ramachandran Nair, Distinguished Professor and Director, Center for Subtropical Agroforestry, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida

"The optimistic act of planting trees is an antidote to many of the earth’s ecological woes. When chosen wisely, trees can also be an economic 'bank account' for future generations and an anchor for traditional cultures. Traditional Trees of Pacific Islands: Their Culture, Environment, and Use is a major resource for that kind of wise planting. The information might seem dense in another format, but here it’s kept lively by the smart layout and abundant pictures. The pictures are remarkably instructive, taking you through every stage of the tree’s life, including grafting and the occasional transplant-a-mature-tree scenario."—Clear Englebert, feng shui author and consultant, Kealakekua, Hawai'i

"Traditional Trees for Pacific Islands is a wonderful reference for identifying, propagating, harvesting, and developing natural and useful vegetative communities for trees in the Pacific Islands. It is a great guide for the wide range of people, from those interested in home landscaping projects to those in the scientific community geared toward forest management activities. The highly relevant text is richly illustrated with hundreds of full-color photographs of outstanding quality."—EvanaMaile Burt-Toland, Conservation Specialist, Mauna Kea Soil & Water Conservation District/Hawaii Association of Conservation Districts (HACD)


Contributors v
Foreword: A treasure trove for people who like plants­—Isabella Aiona Abbott vii
Foreword: Traditional trees—a key to well-being and prosperity—Roger R. B. Leakey ix
Preface xiii
Acknowledgments xv
Acacia koa (koa) and Acacia koaia (koai‘a) 1
Agathis macrophylla (Pacific kauri) 29
Aleurites moluccana (kukui) 41
Alphitonia zizyphoides (toi) 57
Areca catechu (betel nut palm) 69
Artocarpus altilis (breadfruit) 85
Artocarpus camansi (breadnut) 101
Artocarpus heterophyllus (jackfruit) 111
Artocarpus mariannensis (dugdug) 127
Bruguiera gymnorrhiza (large-leafed mangrove) 139
Barringtonia procera (cutnut) 153
Broussonetia papyrifera (paper mulberry) 171
Calophyllum inophyllum (kamani) 183
Cananga odorata (ylang-ylang) 199
Canarium indicum var. indicum and C. harveyi (canarium nut) 209
Casuarina equisetifolia (beach she-oak) and C. cunninghamiana (river she-oak) 227
Citrus (citrus) and Fortunella (kumquat) 243
Cocos nucifera (coconut) 277
Cordia subcordata (kou) 303
Endospermum medullosum (whitewood) 317
Erythrina variegata (coral tree) 329
Fagraea berteroana (pua kenikeni) 345
Flueggea flexuosa (poumuli) 355
Gliricidia sepium (gliricidia) 367
Gnetum gnemon (gnetum) 385
Hibiscus tiliaceus (beach hibiscus) 393
Inocarpus fagifer (Tahitian chestnut) 407
Intsia bijuga (vesi) 425
Mangifera indica (mango) 441
Metrosideros polymorpha (‘Ohi‘a lehua) 465
Metroxylon amicarum, M. paulcoxii, M. sagu, M. salomonense,
M. vitiense, and M. warburgii (sago palm) 491
Morinda citrifolia (noni) 513
Musa species (banana and plantain) 531
Pandanus tectorius (pandanus) 563
Pometia pinnata (tava) 591
Pterocarpus indicus (narra) 607
Rhizophora mangle, R. samoensis, R. racemosa, R. x harrisonii
(Atlantic–East Pacific red mangrove) 623
Rhizophora apiculata, R. mucronata, R. stylosa, R. x annamalai, R. x lamarckii
(Indo–West Pacific stilt mangrove) 641
Samanea saman (rain tree) 661
Santalum austrocaledonicum and S. yasi (sandalwood) 675
Santalum ellipticum, S. freycinetianum,S. haleakalae, and S. paniculatum (Hawaiian sandalwood) 695
Syzygium malaccense (Malay apple) 715
Terminalia catappa (tropical almond) 727
Terminalia richii (malili) 747
Thespesia populnea (milo) 757
Tournefortia argentea (tree heliotrope) 775
Common names index 787



James A. Allen, Paul Smith’s College, PO Box 265, Paul Smiths, New York 12970, USA.

Francis Areki, Geography Department, School of Social and Economic Development, The University of the South Pacific, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji; E-mail: fareki@wwfpacific.org.fj

Ian S. E. Bally, Horticulture and Forestry Sciences, Queensland Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, 28 Peters St (PO Box 1054), Mareeba, QLD, 4880, Australia; Tel: +61 (0)7 4048 4644; Fax: +61 (0)7 40 923 593; E-mail: ian.bally@dpi.qld.gov.au

Robert F. Bevacqua, Del Monte Fresh Produce of Hawaii, PO Box 212, Kunia, Hawaii 96759, USA; E-mail: bevacqua@hawaii.edu

Richard S. Buker, University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Citrus Research and Education Center, 700 Experiment Station Rd, Lake Alfred, Florida 33850, USA; Tel: 863-956-1151; Fax: 863-956-4631; E-mail: rsb@crec.ifas.ufl.edu

Edward Chan, Smallfarm Agricultural Development Specialist, 47 Kaboora Crescent, Westlake, QLD 4074, Australia; E-mail: chanelss@powerup.com.au

Robin DeMeo, Natural Resources Conservation Service, PO Box 6057, Koror, Palau 96940, USA; E-mail: robin.demeo@pb.usda.gov

Norman C. Duke, Marine Botany Group, Centre for Marine Studies, University of Queensland, St. Lucia QLD 4072, Australia.

Virginia Easton Smith, University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, 79-7381 Mamalahoa Hwy, Kealakekua, Hawaii 96750, USA; Tel: 808-322-4892; Fax: 808-322-4895; E-mail: vsmith@hawaii.edu

Craig R. Elevitch, Permanent Agriculture Resources, PO Box 428, Holualoa, Hawai‘i 96725, USA; E-mail: cre@agroforestry.net

Lois Englberger, Island Food Community of Pohnpei, PO Box 2299, Kolonia, Pohnpei 96941 FM, Federated States of Micronesia; E-mail: nutrition@mail.fm.

Barry Evans, SPRIG Marketing Specialist, 30 Berry St, Sherwood, QLD 4075, Australia; E-mail: barryevans@bigpond.com.

John K. Francis, Shrub Sciences Laboratory, Rocky Mountain Research Station, U.S.D.A. Forest Service (retired), 735 N. 500 E., Provo, Utah 84606, USA; E-mail: jfrancisfr@fs.fed.us

J. B. Friday, Cooperative Extension Service, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawai‘i, 875 Komohana Street, Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720-2757, USA.

Luigi Guarino, Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), Plant Genetic Resources, Private Mail Bag, Suva, Fiji; E-mail: LuigiG@spc.int.

Darrell A. Herbert, Boston University College of General Studies, 871 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 02215, USA; Tel: 617-358-0320; Fax: 617-353-5868.

Angela Kay Kepler, Pacific Wide Consulting, PO Box 1298, Haiku, Is. of Maui, Hawaii 96708, USA; E-mail: akk@pacificwideconsulting.com

Harley I. Manner, University of Guam, College of Arts and Sciences, UOG Station, Mangilao, GU 96923 USA; Tel: 671-735-2874; Fax: 671-734-5255; E-mail: hmanner@uog9.uog.edu

Will McClatchey, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Botany Department, St. John 405, 3190 Maile Way, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA; Tel: 808-956-6704; Fax: 808-956-3923.

Mark D. Merlin, Biology Program, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, Dean Hall, Rm. 2, Honolulu, Hawai‘i 96822, USA; E-mail: merlin@hawaii.edu

Scot C. Nelson, University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR), Department of Plant & Environmental Protection Sciences (PEPS), Cooperative Extension Service, 875 Komohana St., Hilo, Hawaii 96720, USA.

Dana Okano, Cooperative Extension Service, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, University of Hawai‘i, 875 Komohana Street, Hilo, Hawai‘i 96720-2757, USA.

Richard L. Pauku, James Cook University, School of Tropical Biology, PO Box 6811, QLD 4878, Cairns, Australia.

Randy C. Ploetz, University of Florida, Tropical Research and Education Center, Department of Plant Pathology, 18905 S.W. 280 Street, Homestead, Florida 33031, USA; E-mail: rcp@ifas.ufl.edu

Diane Ragone, The Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden, 3530 Papalina Road, Kalaheo, Hawaii 96741 USA.

George W. Staples, Bishop Museum, 1525 Bernice Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817-2704, USA

Randolph R. Thaman, Geography Department, School of Social and Economic Development, The University of the South Pacific, PO Box 1168, Suva, Fiji; E-mail: Thaman_R@usp.ac.fj.

Lex A. J. Thomson, South Pacific Regional Initiative of Forest Genetic Resources (SPRIG) Project, SPC Forestry Program, Suva, Fiji (current contact info: IPGRI, Via dei Tre Denari 472/a, 00057 Maccarese (Fiumicino), Rome, Italy; E-mail: L.Thomson@cgiar.org).

Deborah Ward, University of Hawai‘i College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Natural Resources and Environmental Management (retired), 875 Komohana St., Hilo 96720, USA; Tel: 808-966-7361; Fax: 808-981-3101; E-mail: dward@hawaii.edu

W. Arthur Whistler, Isle Botanica, 2814 Kalawao St. Honolulu, Hawaii 96822 USA.

Kim M. Wilkinson, Environmental Management Specialist, PO Box 1331, Duvall, Washington 98019, E-mail: kim@kimwilkinson.com


Heidi Bornhorst (urban forestry), horticulturalist and arborist, Honolulu, Hawai‘i

Dale Evans, UH CTAHR Publications and Information

Eileen Herring, UH Manoa Science & Technology Reference

Heidi Johansen (urban forestry), horticulturalist and mahi ‘ai, South Kona, Hawai‘i

Diane Ragone, The Breadfruit Institute, National Tropical Botanical Garden


Craig Elevitch (Project Coordinator, Editor)

Kim M. Wilkinson (USDA-SARE project)


Tito Alatimu, Rogerene (Kali) Arce, James Atherton, Patrick Baker, Ray Baker, Tony Beveridge, Heidi Bornhorst, Dietmar Braeutigam, Richard Campbell, Alfred Capelle, Keola Childs, Tom Cole, Susan Cordell, Roberto Coronel, John Culliney, Farid Dahdouh-Guebas, Jeff Daniells, Robin DeMeo, Judith Drexler, Nick Dudley, Hiro Ehara, Lois Englberger, Barry Evans, Dale Evans, Kathy Ewel, John K. Francis, David Frenz, Brian Gunn, Danica Harbaugh, Eileen Herring, Jim Hollyer, Liz Huppman, Clyde Imada, Heidi Johansen, Robert Joy, Kana‘e Keawe, Jürgen Kellermann, Gunnar Keppel, Mark Kimball, Brian Kiyabu, John Larmour, Roger Leakey, Kent Lighter, David Lorence, Ken Love, Ariel Lugo, Harley Manner, Tom McCarthy, Ty McDonald, Brien Meilleur, Mark Merlin, Joel Miles, Manuel Monic, Scot Nelson, Bill Null, Tony Page, John Parrotta, Lyman Perry, Scott Peterson, Ron Peyton, Bart Potter, Tolusina Pouli, Diane Ragone, Bill Raynor, Manuel Rego, Michael Robotham, Ken Robson, Jim Roshetko, Paul Scowcroft, Secretariat of the Pacific Community-Plant Protection Service, Peter Simmons, Steven Skipper, Roger Skolmen, Forest and Kim Starr, Fred Stone, Jacques Tassin, Barry Tomlinson, Janice Uchida, Peter van Dyke, Nancy vander Velde, Steve Walker, Debbie Ward, Art Whistler, Mike Wilcox, Kim Wilkinson, Ed Winkler, Jacqui Wright, Aileen Yeh, Francis Zee


Kron Aken, Jim Allen, Francis Areki, Ray Baker, Ian Bally, Tony Beveridge, Mark Bonin, Roland Bourdeix, Beth Brook, Richard Buker, Eleanore Burson, Gerry Carr, Edward Chan, Robin DeMeo, Norman Duke, Craig Elevitch, Lois Englberger, Barry Evans, Dale Evans, Florida Citrus Research and Education Center, French Agricultural Research Centre for International Development (CIRAD), J. B. Friday, GTZ-Pacific-German Regional Forestry Project, Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, Darrell Herbert, Jack Jeffrey, Angela Kay Kepler, John Larmour, Roger Leakey, Amy Levendusky, Ken Love, Hal Lum, Harley Manner, Will McClatchey, Tom McEvoy, Ulf Mehlig, Mark Merlin, Kenneth Mudge, Jon Naupa, Scot Nelson, Wayne Nishijima, Desmond Ogata, Tony Page, John Parrotta, Richard Pauku, Randy Ploetz, Tolusina Pouli, Diane Ragone, Frank Rust, Forest and Kim Starr, Randolph Thaman, Lex Thomson, Barry Tomlinson, Deborah Ward, Art Whistler, Jeff Williamson, Jim Wiseman, Aileen Yeh