Mānoa Heritage Center




Thespesia populnea

Polynesian Introduction

Used for its wood and fiber. Planted around homes in old Hawaiʻi. It has wide, low branches and a thick trunk with rough bark and scaly twigs. The Hawaiians found the beautifully-grained, dark redwood to be second only to kou for making calabashes, plates, and other wood utensils. The glossy leaves are heart-shaped with long, pointed tips. Bell-shaped flowers are yellow with a deep purple center.