Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Cordia subcordata or Kou Tree

Cordia subcordata, also known as the Mareer, Kerosene wood, Glueberry, Tou and Kou tree, is shown here in Kapiolani Park, Oahu. This beautiful, glossy-leaved, vibrantly orange-flowered tree, is native to eastern Africa, South Asia, Australia and the Pacific Islands. It is salt tolerant but not frost tolerant, its woody seeds floating long distances across the Pacific to germinate on far shores. Its fruit are apparently edible but not particularly flavorful, being occasionally eaten in times of famine. Its wood is soft, durable and easily carved, being historically used by the Hawaiians to make bowls, large calabashes (huge bowls), & utensils due to its ability to hold food without affecting the flavor of the food itself.

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