Mānoa Heritage Center




Erythrina sandwicensis


Wiliwili is a little out of its habit here at MHC, as it grows wildly in mesic forests and along the coast. Mānoa’s wet weather is probably the reason this tree has not gone through its foliage cycle, dropping itsʻ leaves then blooming. When wiliwili near the coast was in bloom, it was believed that sharks were more likely to bite.

Its lightweight wood was made into surfboards and used in canoe building and fishing. Seeds were strung into lei and all parts of the tree were used for specific medical purposes.