Appendix One hundred Pacific Island agroforestry trees (3)
21. Cassia spp. CAESALPINIACEAE/LEGUMINOSAE
spp. C. alata L. ("candle bush," "golden candelabra
tree"); C. fistula L. ("golden shower tree," "Indian
laburnum," "pudding-pipe tree"); C. glauca Lam. (syns. C.
sulfurea DC. ex Colladon and Senna sulfurea DC. ex Colladon
Irwin & Barneby) ("scramble-egg tree"); C. grandis L. f.
("pink shower tree," "horse cassia"); C. javanica L.
("pink and white shower tree," "pink shower tree"); C.
siamea Lam. ("kassod tree")
The cassias are all recent introductions to the Pacific Islands; some species
(C. fistula, C. glauca, C. javanica, and C. siamea)
are native to tropical Asia, whereas others (C. alata and C.
grandis) are indigenous to tropical America. They range from shrubs or
small trees (C. alata and C. glauca) to large, spreading trees (C.
grandis and C. siamea), with pinnately compound leaves; striking
racemose clusters or racemes of bright yellow to pink, or pink and white,
flowers, and short to long, seed-bearing pods. Occasional to common in home
gardens and in rural areas; occasionally naturalized in poorly-drained areas,
along streams, and in other disturbed sites. Planted ornamental and roadside
trees; occasionally planted as shade trees; wood of some species used in general
construction and as firewood; leaves of C. alata widely used as a cure
for ringworm; flowers used in garlands.
22. Casuarina equisetifolia L. CASUARINACEAE
"casuarina," "she oak, " "ironwood,"
syn. C. Iitorea L.
spp. C. nodiflora
Forst. f (syns. Gymnostoma nodiflorum [Thunb.] L.A.S. Johnson; C.
vitiense L.A.S. Johnson); C. oligodon ("yar," PNG
Pidgin); C. papuana S. Moore
C. equisetifolia indigenous to the Indian Ocean, South-East Asia,
Malesia, northern Australia, and most parts of the western Pacific; possibly an
aboriginal introduction in some areas of the eastern Pacific, and a recent
introduction to Nauru and most of the atolls. Medium to large, hardwooded,
fast-growing, pine-like tree, up to 20 m high, with numerous, short-lived, long,
thin, drooping, needle-like, gray-green, photosynthetic branchlets; awl-shaped,
scale-like leaves; and small, dull green ripening to brown, cone-like fruit.
Common on rocky volcanic and limestone coastal areas and commonly naturalized or
indigenous in sandy or limestone areas and on de graded, lateritic,
highly-eroded interior areas and fern lands of many islands; a naturalized
pioneer on some open-cast mined areas in Nauru; occasional in home gardens and
urban areas. Formerly a sacred tree in eastern Polynesia, where it was planted
in temple grounds; nitrogen-fixing tree, often planted or protected in garden
areas; commonly planted as an ornamental, roadside tree, wind-break, or for
coastal protection or reclamation; hard, durable wood favoured for general
construction, wood carving, and the production of tools, war clubs, tape
pounders, and canoe parts; an excellent firewood; parts used medicinally.
Other, more restricted species indigenous from New Guinea to New Caledonia
and Fiji, but apparently a recent aboriginal introduction into the Eastern
Highlands of Papua New Guinea (c. 1200 BP). Small to medium-sized trees, up to
20 m or higher, with slender, green branchlets (the distal branchlets
quadrangular) bearing whorls of scale-like leaves. Common in garden areas and
grasslands throughout highland New Guinea, either as nurtured spontaneous, or
deliberately planted trees; common in home gardens and as individual trees or
groves surrounding villages and ritual pig-killing sites in highland New Guinea;
occasional in lowlands and degraded or ultrabasic upland areas in New Guinea,
New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, and Fiji. Tree commonly planted or protected
as an improved fallow in highland New Guinea because of its nitrogen-fixing
ability; occasionally planted to control erosion and as boundary markers; timber
used for light construction, tools, weapons, fencing, and firewood; trees also
important in garden magic and death rituals in New Guinea. (L.A.S. Johnson has
reclassified the Fijian species as belonging to the genus Gymnostoma,
thus indicating that a similar reclassification of other Pacific Island species
might be expected.)
23. Ceiba pentandra Gaertn. BOMBACEAE
Indigenous to India or Africa; a pre-World War II introduction into most
Pacific Islands. Tall, deciduous, soft-wooded, light-gray-barked tree, up to 25
m or higher, with a buttressed, commonly spiny trunk; palmately compound leaves;
and oblongellipsoid, capsular, pendulous, 5-celled fruit filled with numerous
long, soft, silky or cotton-like fibres. Common to occasional throughout most of
the high islands, including raised limestone islands, in both home gardens and
in rural areas, often along roads or bordering agricultural holdings. Planted
ornamental or roadside or boundary-marker tree; light-weight timber used in
light construction; fibre used for stuffing pillows and mattresses.
24. Citrus aurantiifolia (Christm.) Swingle RUTACEAE
"lime," "West Indian lime"
syns. C. Iima Lunan;
C. acida Roxb.; Limonia aurantiifolia Christm.
Probably indigenous to southern Asia or Indonesia; a post-European-contact
introduction into the Pacific Islands. Bushy shrub or small tree, up to 4 m
high, with sharp spines; variable leaves; fragrant, pink to white-petalled
flowers; and small, smooth, globose, green to light yellow-skinned fruit with
aromatic, acidic pulp and juice. Common in home gardens in some areas of the
Pacific and occasional in rural areas; only occasionally naturalized; planted
occasionally in monospecific plantations in Fiji, Niue, and the Cook Islands;
the only citrus species well established in Kiribati and some other atolls.
Planted fruit-tree; juice of fruit used to marinade raw fish, make drinks, and
for flavouring food and desserts; whole fruit pickled as a relish (achar) for
curries by Indians in Fiji; fruit sold as a minor cash crop in many countries.
25. Citrus aurantium L. RUTACEAE
syn. C. vulgaris Risso
Probably indigenous to South-East Asia; an early post-European-contact
introduction into the Pacific Islands. Small tree, up to 10 m high, with short,
slender spines; leaves with broad-winged petioles; very fragrant, white flowers;
and subglobose, rough-skinned, green fruits that turn bright orange at maturity
and contain sour or bitter orange pulp. Occasional in rural garden areas and in
home gardens throughout most of Polynesia and in some areas of Micronesia and
Melanesia; not found on atolls. Fruit juice used to make drinks and for
flavouring food; fruit and skins occasionally used to make marmalade; fruit sold
as a minor cash crop in some countries; parts used medicinally.
26. Citrus grandis (L.) Osbeck RUTACEAE
"pummelo," "pomelo," "shaddock"
aurantium var. grandis L.; C. auranfium var.
decumana L.; C. maxima (Burm.) Merr.; C. decumana (L.)
Murr.; Aurantium maximum Burm.
Probably indigenous to South-East Asia and Malesia; probably an aboriginal
introduction into many Pacific islands, including Fiji and western Polynesia; a
postEuropean-contact introduction into some areas. A medium-sized tree, up to 12
m high, with leaves with winged petioles; pure white flowers with yellow
anthers; and large subglobose to pyriform (pear-shaped), thick-skinned, light
green to yellowgreen fruit with pale yellow to pink pulp. Occasional in garden
areas, mature fallow forests, and secondary forests, where it seems to be
naturalized; uncommon in home gardens. Timber used in light construction and
considered a good firewood; scraped root used medicinally to cure haemorrhoids
in Fiji; pulp eaten as a snack food; whole fruit used to make children's toys
(e.g. wheels, etc.); fruit sold occasionally as a minor cash crop in some
countries. The pamplemousse, or grapefruit, that is common in French Polynesia
and other French territories is probably a hybrid cross between C.
grandis and possibly C. sinensis, the sweet orange.
27. Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f. RUTACEAE
syns. C. medica var. limon L.; C.
Iimonum Risso; C. Iimonia Osbeck
sp. C. hystrix DC.
("rough lemon"?) (see note below)
Possibly indigenous to South-East Asia; probably an early
post-European-contact introduction to the Pacific Islands. Small tree, up to 9 m
high, with leaves with narrowly-winged petioles; white flowers tinged with red
in bud; and rough, somewhat bumpy-skinned, yellow-green fruit with pale yellow,
sour pulp. Common in garden areas, fallow forests, and home gardens;
occasionally naturalized; generally protected when clearing fallow vegetation
for new gardens. Timber used for tool handles and firewood; leaves boiled to
make tea; fruit used to make drinks, marinade raw fish, and season or garnish
food; fruit also used medicinally; fruit sold as a minor cash crop in many
countries. The most common "lemon" in many areas, referred to as the
rough lemon locally, is usually classified as C. limon, but may in fact
be the leach lime, or Mauritius papeda (C. hystrix DC.).
28. Citrus reticulata Blanco RUTACEAE
"tangerine," "mandarin orange"
syn. C. nobilis
Indigenous to South-East Asia, the Philippines, and perhaps other areas of
Malesia; a post-European-contact introduction to the Pacific Islands. Small,
sometimes spiny tree, up to 9 m high, with leaves with scalloped edges and
slightly winged petioles; white flowers; and somewhat flattened globose fruit
with rough, loose yellow-green to bright orange skin and sweet to somewhat sour,
orange pulp in easy-to-separate segments. Common in garden areas, fallow
forests, and tree groves surrounding villages; common in home gardens; not found
on atolls. Fruit eaten as a favoured seasonal snack food throughout the Pacific;
a major seasonal cash crop in some areas such as New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga, and
29. Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck RUTACEAE
"orange," "sweet orange" syns. C. aurantium var.
sinensis L.; C. aurantium ssp. sinensis (L.) Engl.
Indigenous to South China or South-East Asia; a post-European-contact
introduction to the Pacific Islands. Small to medium-sized, often spiny tree, up
to 12 m high, with ovate to elliptic leaves with broad-winged petioles;
fragrant, white flowers; and subglobose, smooth fruit with yellow-green to
orange, adherent skin and sweet to somewhat sour, orange pulp. Common in garden
areas, fallow forests, village tree groves, and home gardens; occasionally
naturalized in disturbed areas; usually protected when clearing new gardens;
improved varieties planted in monocultural plantations in some areas such as
Fiji and the Cook Islands. Wood used in light construction and for firewood;
leaves used medicinally and sometimes boiled to make tea; flowers occasionally
used in garlands; ripe fruit eaten and made into juice and marmalade; fruit sold
as a major seasonal cash crop in many countries; the juice or concentrate is
exported and used in commercial fruit-drink manufacture in Fiji, and formerly in
the Cook Islands.
30. Cocos nucifera L. ARECACEAE/PALMAE
Indigenous to southern Asia and the Indian Ocean islands, but probably an
aboriginal introduction to most Pacific Islands. Tall, erect, single-stemmed
palm, up to 30 m tall, with a slender, more or less curved or inclined, trunk;
frond-like leaves, up to 4 m or longer, clustered at top of trunk; flowers in
large axillary clusters; and large ovoid, subglobose to ovoid, or ellipsoid
fruit, with a thick, fibrous husk surrounding a hard nut filled with hard,
white, oily, edible pulp and, when young, with sweet water. Very abundant in all
island groups, except for Easter Island; planted in extensive, regularly-spaced
monocultural plantations and in haphazard, mixed-age-class plantings, often
dominated by naturalized volunteer palms; sometimes undergrazed by cattle or
other animals; common on atolls, often as the only cash crop; the most important
intercrop or agroforestry species in smallholder mixed cropping systems on most
small islands and in coastal areas. The most useful of all plants in the
Pacific; features in mythology, legends, songs, proverbs, and riddles throughout
the Pacific; of ceremonial importance and its leaves a sign of high rank in
Polynesia and Micronesia; specific trees or two trees planted together serving
as boundary markers in Tuvalu; trunk used in house construction for poles,
rafters, and beams, and for wood carving, in fencing, and for animal pens, for
other articles such as food containers, tools, spears and weapons, drums, canoe
planking, and small canoe hulls and paddles, walking sticks, fish clubs, and,
most recently, for sawn timber using portable timber mills; major source of fuel
on most smaller islands, with almost all parts being used; coir and dry leaves
important as tinder in making fire by friction and carrying fire; swelling at
base of trunk made into food containers and large hula drums in Hawaii; bark
used for scenting body oil and for smoking skirts; mature and young leaves used
for weaving baskets, food containers and parcels, mats, housing thatch, tables
or table mats for feasts, trays, fans, balls, weirs/barricades for communal fish
drives, and other plaited ware; young leaves from germinating nut used to make a
coconut-tree climbing bandage or foot-harness that is tied between the feet;
unfurled immature leaves used to make skirts, body ornamentation,
hats/eyeshades, baskets, fans, and fishing lures; leaves used in magic,
particularly garden magic, and tied around trees in plantations as boundary
markers or to ward off evil spirits and as a sign of no trespassing, or tapu;
old dried leaves and husks used as mulching; midrib of leaflets or pinnules used
in brooms, in weaving, toy windmills, for fishing lures and shrimp snares, to
spear mudworms, small arrows, musical instruments, head-dresses, combs, for
stringing fish, and oilrich seed kernels burnt for illumination, fastening
thatch segments, for strengthening bonito hooks, cooking skewers, toy canoes,
and in a variety of other ways; woody leaf base and midribs of fronds used for
house flooring and rafters, for sandals, carrying poles, toy boats, rattles,
sledges or clappers, clubs or mallets, and to beat water during fish drives and
for pounding and stabilizing banks of taro beds; doubled-over midribs of fronds
used as cooking tongs; midribs of young fronds used for fishermen's belts in
Tuvalu; burlap-like fibrous sheath at base of fronds used as tinder, toilet
paper, gauze, a filter or strainer, and to press medicine or coconut oil and to
wrap bait for deep-water fishing and the earth ball on the roots of seedlings
when transplanting; flower used in connection with religious ritual in Tahiti;
kernel or endosperm of mature nut used raw, cooked, and fermented in a variety
of ways as a staple food, as a major food for chickens and pigs and ingredient
in locally produced commercial livestock feeds, for fish and rat bait, and dried
to provide the socially important scented and unscented coconut oil for soap,
skin oil, cosmetics, perfume, and copra, the only export crop in many rural
areas; chewed pieces of mature kernel used as popgun ammunition on Tuvalu;
kernel of mature nuts hung in house rafters as emergency food for up to 10
years; oil used as a preservative for tape, carvings, and other objects; soft
flesh of immature nut an important weaning food and adult food; juice of
immature nuts a nutritious local beverage, which is often sold, and considered a
sacred offering to visitors in Kiribati and used in divination in Hawaii; oil
chewed and spat on the ocean to calm the sea; sap from flower spathe used to
make unfermented and fermented toddy and syrup, which are of considerable
nutritional importance in Micronesia and on atolls; husk of some
cultivars of green nuts eaten in atoll Polynesia and Micronesia; flower
spathe sheath and dried fronds used to make torches for night fishing and for
major night-time ceremonial occasions; dried sheaths used as splints to set
broken bones; flower spathe sheath and frond midribs used to splint broken bones
in Tuvalu; coir of husk of both green and mature nuts used to make strong fibre
and cordage (sennet) for strainers, affixing tool handles, boat and house
lashings, fishnets and lines, measuring tapes for garden lands, hammocks, belts,
reef-walking sandals, canoe caulking, corks or stoppers, slings, toilet paper,
baskets or carry bags, tying corpses for burial, and commercially to make
brooms, brushes, fly whisks, doormats, and other objects; green husks used to
cover earthen oven; pieces of green husk used as temporary spoons to scoop meat
out of green nuts; charred husk fibre used for black dye in Tokelau; shell of
nut used to make cups, bailers, small bowls, cooking vessels, funnels, utensils,
storage containers, fish hooks and lures, floats, knee drums, cymbals, lagging
discs, toys, a wide range of handicrafts, and high quality charcoal; roots used
to make fish traps, floating cages, sand screens, and other objects; very
important medicinal plant, with most parts used medicinally; leaning palms with
excavated cavities or attached receptacles near the base used for water
catchment; numerous named cultivars recognized in all parts of the
Pacific, many of which have specialized uses, e.g. for drinking nuts, cup, or
31. Coffea spp. RUBIACEAE
arabica L. ("Arabian coffee"); C. canephora Pierre ex.
Froehn. (syn. C. robusta Linden.) ("robusta coffee"); C.
liberica Bull ex Hiern. ("Liberian coffee")
Indigenous from tropical west to east Africa; an early post-European-contact
introduction to many islands; not found on atolls. Shrub or small tree, up to 3
m or higher, with dark green, glossy leaves; axillary clusters of fragrant white
flowers; and ellipsoid or oblong, yellow turning bright red fruit, each
containing two, deeply -grooved, ellipsoidal seeds. Occasional to abundant
throughout the high-island Pacific, where it is cultivated by both smallholders
and as a plantation crop under a range of shade trees, such as Erythrina,
Albizia, and Leucaena; naturalized, and even invasive in some
areas, such as in Samoa and the Marquesas. The major export crop in Papua New
Guinea, where some 200,000 smallholder growers produced 70 per cent of some
K117.5 million in export earnings in 1985; also an important cash crop in New
Caledonia, Vanuatu, and Hawaii and a minor crop, mainly for local sale, in Fiji,
Tonga, Western Samoa, the Cook Islands, and French Polynesia. The most important
species is C. arabica, the mainstay of the Papua New Guinea highlands
industry and which is grown in Vanuatu, Tonga, and Hawaii, whereas C.
canephora is important in other areas of Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia,
and some coastal areas. C. Iiberica does not seem to have become well
established anywhere. Coffee leaf rust (Hemileia spp.), which led to the
complete collapse of the coffee industry in Sri Lanka, and to which only C.
canephora has resistance, is present in some parts of the Pacific and
poses a serious threat to the Papua New Guinea coffee industry.
32. Commersonia bartramia (L.) Merr. STERCULIACEAE
echinata Forst.; Muntingia bartramia L.
South-East Asia, Australia, and New Caledonia to Fiji, the Caroline Islands,
and the Society and Marquesas Islands; not reported from Tonga and Niue. Shrub
or small tree, up to 18 m high, with toothed and sometimes lobed leaves; and
small, bristly fruit. Common tree of secondary and dry forest and patches of
forest or thickets in grassland; occasional in garden and fallow areas, where it
is an important pioneer species. Wood used in light construction, for fishing
floats, and as a fast-burning firewood; light wood used to start fire by
friction in the Solomon Islands; small poles and sticks used to stake yams;
fibrous bark used as cordage for fishing lines, nets, baskets, belts, girdles,
headbands, and bark cloth in Melanesia; strips of bark used as a crude rope to
carry produce and firewood, and for lashing in construction; roots used
medicinally in Fiji.
33. Cordia subcordata Lam. BORAGINACEAE
trumpet," "beach cordia"
Indigenous from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Islands, but possibly an
aboriginal introduction to many of the islands of Polynesia and Micronesia.
Medium-sized tree, up to 10 m or taller, with pale greyish, slightly fissured
bark; ovate leaves on long petioles; and attractive pale to bright orange,
crêpey, trumpet-shaped. scentless flowers. Formerly common in coastal strand
forests, particularly in disturbed sites, but increasingly scarce due to
overexploitation of wood for carving; occasional in home gardens on atolls and
in eastern Polynesia, occasional as a roadside tree. Currently planted as a
roadside tree as part of conservation efforts in the Cook Islands; planted as an
ornamental shade tree in or near settlements; formerly many famous large groves
in Hawaii; a favoured shade tree in ancient Hawaii; features in Polynesian
legends and chants, including the origin of fire from the underworld and, in
Kiribati, it is the totem of the Karongoa clan and features in mythology; soft
but durable, chocolate brown and blond wood used in general construction and is
among the most favoured carving woods; also used for making canoe hulls,
thwarts, rudders, weather platforms, outrigger booms and paddles, furniture,
headrests, bowls, trays, plates, combs, food stirrers, food containers or boxes,
airtight reef boxes for fishing equipment, fishnet floats, fishing rods, tools,
coconut-climbing sticks, toys, drums and slit-gongs, tobacco pipes, images of
gods (tiki), and other carved objects for sale to tourists; young saplings used
for fishing rods and flutes; inner bark used as pregnant woman's girdle to
provide magical powers in Kiribati and as sail ornamentation on Polynesian
voyaging canoes; inner bark soaked in sea water made into dance skirts, hats,
fans, baskets, garlands, and, in former times, men's clothing; used for firewood
and dry bark and wood used in making fire by friction; leaves, bark, growing
tips, and stems used medicinally; leaves used as an aphrodisiac in Kiribati and
for love, wave, and protective magic in Micronesia; leaves used to make brown
dye in Tahiti and for pig feed in Tokelau; brown dye made from roots in Tokelau;
attractive orange flowers used in leis and garlands; seeds eaten, mainly by
children, in Fiji, Tokelau, Puluwat, and Ifaluk; seeds used to make paste for
bark cloth in Samoa.
34. Cordyline fruticosa (L. ) A Chev. LILIACEAE/AGAVACEAE
"cordyline, " "ti-plant"
syns. C. terminalis (L.)
Kunth; Taetsia fruticosa (L.) Merr.
Indigenous to tropical Asia and possibly New Guinea and Malesia; probably an
aboriginal introduction to most islands from Melanesia to Hawaii; a recent
introduction to some smaller islands, particularly atolls, of Polynesia and
Micronesia. Woody, erect shrub or tree-like, branched or unbranched perennial,
up to 2 m or taller, with smooth, tough, shiny, dark green to rust or red
leaves; numerous small, white, pink, or red flowers; fleshy, globose yellow or
reddish fruit; and some cultivars with a large edible tuberous root.
Common in garden areas, in home gardens, in ceremonial grounds, and as border
plantings throughout the non-atoll Pacific; commonly naturalized in fallow
vegetation; rare to occasional on atolls. Planted ornamental and pot plant; very
important ceremonial and magico-religious plant, commonly planted as a garden
marker or to ward off evil spirits or to discourage black magic or sorcery in
garden areas; a traditionally important supplementary food plant and famine
food, and important decorative plant, with numerous other cultural uses in
Melanesia and Polynesia, where numerous named cultivars and hybrids
exist; large, sweet, white tubers of some cultivars baked for up to four
days in earthen ovens to be consumed as food, sweets, refreshment, or
confectionery, or, in Hawaii, made into an alcoholic beverage known as okolehao;
leaves important for parcelling food, dancing skirts, and body ornamentation.
35. Cycas spp. CYCADACEAE
spp. C. circinalis L.; C. rumphii Miq.; C
seemannii A. Braun
Indigenous to tropical Asia, Australia, and as far east as Fiji and Tonga,
although it is possibly an aboriginal introduction into some of these areas; a
recent introduction to eastern Polynesia, Micronesia, and some atolls. Small
dioecious, palm-like, rarely-branching plant, up to 2 m or taller, with a
sturdy, brown-ringed trunk; dark green, palm- or fern-like, pinnate
fronds; apical flower clusters; and hard, somewhat flattened, green turning
reddish brown, globose, nut-like fruit. Component in savanna grasslands in New
Guinea, occasional in fallow areas, open forests, and savanna or grassland areas
in Melanesia; occasional in coastal areas; occasional in home gardens and urban
areas on both high islands and atolls. Planted ornamental and ceremonial plant;
a ceremonial plant in Vanuatu, where it is planted in sacred meeting grounds
(nakamal) and areas where pigs are killed; bark sap used as glue in the Solomon
Islands; seed kernels processed into flour as a famine or ceremonial food in
areas of Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia (because the seed contains highly
toxic hydrocyanic acid, a detoxification process is involved; evidence shows
deleterious effects in populations eating the seeds without proper processing);
staminate cones also reportedly edible; fruit strung together to make children's
toys or rattles; fruit and bark used medicinally in the Solomon Islands.
36. Delonix regia (Bojer) Raf. CAESALPINIACEAE/LEGUMINOSAE
"poinciana," "royal poinciana," "flame tree,"
"flamboyant," "flame of the forest"
Indigenous to Madagascar; a pre-World War I introduction into most of the
Pacific Islands. Rapidly growing, medium-sized, spreading, broad-crowned
deciduous tree, up to 10-12 m high, with bipinnate leaves; corymbose
racemes bearing large, brilliant crimson to red-orange, showy flowers; and long,
flattened, woody, dark reddish brown turning black, many-seeded pods. Common in
home gardens and towns, and occasional in rural areas. Planted ornamental and
shade tree; one of the most popular roadside and park trees; wood used
occasionally in light construction and for firewood; flowers and leaves used in
37. Dracontomelon vitiense Engl. ANACARDIACEAE
Possibly indigenous from Vanuatu to Fiji, Rotuma, and Samoa, although
possibly an aboriginal introduction; probably not present in Micronesia; not
found on atolls. Medium-sized, buttressed tree, 8-20 m high, with pinnate
leaves; white flowers; and green or yellow fruit, about 3.5 cm in diameter,
with yellowish pulp. Occasional in garden and fallow areas, tree groves, and
mature fallow forest or open forest; occasional in home gardens and urban areas.
Wood used in light construction and for firewood; ripe fruit an important
seasonal snack food and commonly sold at urban markets in Fiji and Vanuatu;
parts used medicinally; superstitions concerning the tree exist in Fiji.
38. Erythrina variegata var. orientalis (L.) Merr.
"coral tree," "Indian coral tree,"
"tiger's claw," "dadap"
syns. E. indica Lam.; E.
corallodendron var. orienfalis (L.) Merr.
Indigenous from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific Islands; possibly an
aboriginal introduction into some areas of Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia,
but a recent introduction into some of the smaller islands of the eastern
Pacific. Medium to large deciduous tree, up to 25 m high, with the trunk and
branches usually bearing coarse, spiny thorns; broadly triangular-ovate
trifoliate leaves; numerous attractive, claw-like, bright dark red or scarlet
flowers; and black pods containing bright red to brownish red, ovoid seeds.
Common in rural agricultural areas as a vegetatively reproduced living fence or
boundary marker, as a shade tree for coffee or a windbreak; occasional in home
gardens and as a roadside tree; occasionally naturalized. Planted as living
fencing, boundary markers, living pig and livestock pens, as a nitrogen-fixing
and green manure plant, as shade for coffee in Papua New Guinea, and as an
omamental; trunks and thick branches used in light construction and in canoe
construction in the past; flowers used in garlands in the past; seeds of
ornamental and religious value; bark and seeds used to stupify fish in Vanuatu.
39. Eucalyptus spp. MYRTACEAE
spp. E. camaldulensis Dehnh. ("Murray red gum");
E. citriodora Hook. ("lemon-scented gum"); E. deglupta
Blume ("Mindanao gum," "Bagras euca Iyptus"); E.
saligna Sm. ("flooded gum"); E. rereticornis Sm.
("forest red gum")
Indigenous to South-East Asia, the Philippines, Australia, and New Guinea;
recent introductions into most of the Pacific Islands. Trees, often with smooth,
peeling bark, resinous sap, thick, aromatic leaves, umbellate flowers, and
woody, capsular fruit. Abundant in some areas such as Papua New Guinea, the
Solomon Islands, Samoa, and Tonga, where Eucalyptus spp. are among the
main species used in reforestation projects; occasional in experimental
plantings and occasional in rural areas, home gardens, and as a roadside tree in
some areas. Wood from large plantations produced to be chipped for export,
mainly for the production of paper; wood used locally for fencing, firewood, and
occasionally for light construction; occasionally planted as an ornamental; used
medicinally in New Guinea.
40. Euodia hortensis Forst. RUTACEAE
syn. Evodia hortensis Forst.
Indigenous to South-East Asia and probably to parts of western Melanesia, but
probably an aboriginal introduction into Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and Niue. Shrub or
small tree, up to 4 m high, with pungently aromatic, 1- to 3-foliate leaves;
small, white, yellowish or greenish white flowers in particulate clusters; and
small, subglobose, pale brown fruit. Commonly planted in home gardens and around
villages; naturalized or native in rural agricultural areas and as an
understorey shrub in thickets, lowland forest, fallow forest, and tree groves.
Cultivated ornamental or ceremonial plant and boundary marker; often planted in
cemeteries or burial grounds; branches placed near gardens to ward off pigs;
leaves and flowers used in garlands, worn behind the ear, and used to scent
coconut oil; bark, roots, and leaves used medicinally for a wide range of
maladies; used in garden magic in Melanesia.
41. Fagraea berteriana A. Gray ex Benth. LOGANIACEAE/
syns. F. berteroana A.
Gray ex Benth.; F. galilai Gilg. & Bened.; F. racemosa Jack.
ex Wall. (sp?); F. sair Gilg. & Bened.
Indigenous from New Guinea, north-eastern Queensland, and New Caledonia to
the Marianas and Caroline Islands and as far east as the Marquesas, the Austral
Islands, and Hawaii; possibly an aboriginal introduction into some of these
areas. Small to large, glabrous, often-branching, commonly epiphytic tree,
1.5-20 m high, with rather thick leaves; very fragrant, fleshy, tubular, creamy
white turning rich yellow flowers; and rather succulent, yellow turning orange
to bright red fruit. Frequent in open lowland and limestone forests, in poorly
drained sites, and in degraded uplands and cloud forest; occasionally planted or
protected in active garden areas and occasional in home gardens. Planted or
protected ornamental; tree features in legends and is sacred in Hawaii, French
Polynesia, the Cook Islands, and other areas of Polynesia; important tree for
live fencing or pig pens in the Solomon Islands (F. racemosa); soft but
durable timber used for house posts, tools, combs, and in wood carving of idols
in Tahiti; inner bark used in treating asthma and diabetes in Fiji; leaves used
for wrapping food or sealing earthen ovens; fragrant flowers used in garlands
and to scent coconut oil in Polynesia and Melanesia; ripe fruit a favoured food
of wild pigeons.
42. Ficus spp. MORACEAE
spp. F. aoao Warb.; F. microcarpa Linn. f.; F.
obliqua Forst. f.; F. prolixa Forst. f.; F. virens Ait.
Most species indigenous from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Australia to as far
east as the Line, Marquesas, Tuamotu, and the Pitcairn Islands. Small to very
large (depending on the habitat), spreading, broad-crowned trees, up to 20 m or
higher, commonly beginning as epiphytes; with adventitious, aerial roots; smooth
to coriaceous leaves; and small, globose, fig-like fruits. Occasional to common
in open and seaside forests, secondary forests, and occasionally protected in
garden areas; occasional in ceremo nial sites and as roadside or trail-side
trees; F. prolixa seems to be one of the only species capable of
long-term colonization of residual pinnacles in strip-mined areas of Nauru and
could become dominant in the disclimax vegetation. Banyan trees are regarded as
having spiritual importance in many areas and are the focus of creation
mythology and cosmogony in Polynesia and Melanesia; important in rituals and
ceremonies in Melanesia; found in and serve as the focus for the ceremonial
meeting places (nakamal) in Vanuatu; timber and aerial roots used in light
construction, tool making, and for firewood; occasionally used for canoe hulls
in Papua New Guinea; large aerial roots used for canoe masts and hauling loads
on Ulithi; best fibre used to make bark cloth in Vanuatu, Fiji, Niue, and
Tahiti, and for making very large seine nets in Tahiti; sap (latex) used as
chewing gum, putty, and caulking, to dye ceremonial sashes and belts, and for
waterproofing; leaves used in garlands and ceremonial dress by Pacific Islanders
and Indians in Fiji; roots, aerial roots, bark, fruit latex, and leaves used
medicinally; fruit cooked and eaten, sometimes mixed with coconut syrup; sap
used for chewing gum; fruit important food of birds and fruit bats.
43. Ficus spp. MORACEAE
"native figs," "edible
figs," "sandpaper cabbage"
spp. F. aspera Forst. f.;
F. copiosa Steud. ("sandpaper cabbage"); F. dammaropsis
Diels ("highlands breadfruit"); F. nodosa T. & B.; F.
pungens Reinw.; F. scabra Forst. f. ("sandpaper fig");
F. storkii Seem.; F. tinctoria Forst. f. ("Dyer's fig");
F. trachypison Ltb. & K. Schu.; F. vitiensis Seem. ("Fiji
fig"); F. wassa Roxb. ("sandpaper cabbage")
Different species indigenous from South-East Asia to Polynesia and
Micronesia; many of the cultivated species are probably aboriginal introductions
or selected cultivars derived from indigenous species. Shrubs to
medium-sized (depending on the habitat), slender to widespreading trees, up to
10 m or higher, with variable, smooth to coriaceous or scabrous (sandpaper-like)
leaves; and globose, subglobose, or pearshaped, green fruit that become yellow,
orange, dull red, or purple when mature. Cultivated or protected in garden areas
and home gardens and around villages; common to occasional in grasslands, open
forest, and fallow areas; common to occasional in coastal strand and lagoon-side
vegetation; some species well adapted to coastal and atoll environments. Planted
food trees in Melanesia and in Kiribati and other parts of Micronesia; some
species believed to restore soil fertility; wood sometimes used in light
construction and for digging sticks, yam stakes, canoe connectives, fishnet
frames, fish-trap parts, earth sieves, and for firewood and making fire by
friction; fibrous branches used to clean teeth; roots used in scoop-net frames
in Kiribati, and ropes for fish drives in Puluwat; best fibre used as cordage
for clothing, lashing, fishnets, strapping bundles; best fibre of roots used for
fish lures on Ifaluk and for cordage and chewed to make fuses or tapers used in
medical treatment in Tuvalu; leaves of some species used to wrap food for
cooking; leaves of some species used as a sandpaper substitute and for scouring
pots; leaves and fruit of a range of species are eaten and are of particular
nutritional importance in Melanesia, where they are cultivated or gathered from
wild plants; leaves also an important pig, horse, and livestock feed; fruit an
important food of fruit bats, pigeons, and other birds; ripe or green fruit of
F. tinctoria processed or cooked in many ways to produce a minor staple
and made into puddings and dried, preserved food in Tuvalu and Micronesia; fruit
formerly used to dye bark cloth, hats, mats, etc.; roots used to produce red dye
for pandanus in Kiribati; sap used to produce red dye for face in Tahiti; fruit
used as ammunition for popguns in Tuvalu; yellow leaves used in body
ornamentation in Tuvalu; young leaves and young inner bark used medicinally in