Mānoa Heritage Center




Dodonaea viscosa Jacq.

Native Indigenous

This plant has the ability to withstand strong winds and dry weather; hence the saying, ʻaʻali‘i kū makani (ʻaʻali‘i standing in the wind). The wood is used for tools, weapons, and timber; its red dye is used to color kapa, and seed capsules are used to make lei. Each variety has seed capsules of many shades from deep red to pinkish or green. It is also medicinally used to treat skin ailments.

The flowers of the ʻaʻaliʻi plant are small in size compared to the seed capsules and one plant can have only male flowers, only female flowers, or both. You can find both on the bushes behind our VEH classroom.