|Agroforestry in the Pacific Islands: Systems for Sustainability (UNU, 1993, 297 pages)|
44. Gardenia taitensis DC. RUBIACEAE
"Tahitian gardenia," "tiare Tahiti" (Tahiti)
Believed to be indigenous from Vanuatu to Fiji, Tonga, Niue, Wallis and Futuna, and possibly Samoa; probably an aboriginal introduction into some of these islands and to eastern Polynesia; a recent introduction into Hawaii, Micronesia, and most atoll countries (endemic species of Gardenia, some of which are found in agroforestry systems, exist in many island groups). A shrub or small gnarled tree, up to 6 m high, with shiny, bright green, obovate leaves; attractive, very fragrant, pure white, tubular, spreading 5- to 8-petalled, solitary flowers; and globose, ribbed, yellow-green fruits. Occasional to common in home gardens and villages, sometimes planted as hedges, especially in the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Hawaii; apparently naturalized in some areas such as Hawaii; rare to uncommon on sea cliffs and rocky islets, almost always on limestone. Widely planted ornamental that is cultivated commercially in Tahiti and Hawaii; planted near graves of chiefs in Tuvalu; national flower of the Cook Islands and Tahiti; features in legends and songs in Polynesia and Micronesia; used in love magic and sorcery in Tuvalu; wood carved into bows and cricket balls in Tuvalu, and netting needles and gauges in Tokelau; fragrant white flowers used in leis and garlands and worn in slits in and behind the ear, and in the hair; flowers and fruit used for scenting coconut oil, which is produced commercially in Tahiti and Rarotonga; leis and head garlands sold and exported from Tahiti and Hawaii; used medicinally in Melanesia and Polynesia; selected cultivars with large leaves and flowers recognized in Polynesia.
45. Garuga floribunda Decne. BURSERACEAE
syn. G. pacifica Burkill
Indigenous from the Philippines, Java, and Melanesia to Tonga and Samoa; not reported present in Fiji; possibly an aboriginal introduction from Melanesia to Tonga and Samoa. Medium tree up to 3 m or higher, with leaves commonly with a flush of red somewhere in the crown, crowded near the ends of branches; small flowers in particulate clusters; and small, subglobose, fleshy, green fruits that turn black at maturity. Common in lowland forest and in open or disturbed forest, often in drier sites; occasional in and near garden areas, as living fencing around plantations, and as a protected species near settlements. Planted as living fencing Or boundary markers in Vanuatu and Tonga; timber used in general construction, for fencing, and firewood; bark used medicinally; fruit edible.
46. Gliricidia sepium (Jacq.) Kunth ex Walp.
"gliricidia," "madre de cacao (mother of cocoa)," "Nicaragua cocoa shade"
syn. Robinia sepium Jacq.
Indigenous to Central America and northern South America; a recent introduction into the Pacific Islands. Small, semi-deciduous, fast-growing tree, up to 10 m tall, with pale bark and ascending stems; pinnately compound leaves; stiff, short racemes on the older branches bearing rose or paler pink, rose-tinged flowers with a pale yellow, central blotch; and linear-oblong, flattened pods containing purplish brown seeds. Occasional to common in rural areas as living fencing, mainly around pastures; occasional in home gardens and as a roadside tree; seems to grow well on calcareous soils of atolls. Widely used in tropical America and elsewhere as a shade tree for cocoa, bananas, and coffee; an increasingly important living fence and windbreak in Fiji and Vanuatu; valuable nitrogen-fixing and green manure plant; occasional as an ornamental tree in home gardens and along roadsides; used as firewood; leaves used as fodder for pigs, goats, and cattle.
47. Glochidion spp. EUPHORBIACEAE "glochidion"
spp. G. concolor Muell.-Arg.; G. mearianum Muell.-Arg.; G. ramiflorum Forst.
(syns. Phyllanthus ramiflorus [Forst.] Muell.-Arg., G. tannaense Guill.); G. philippicum (Cav.) C.B. Rob.; G. pomiferum?
Indigenous from tropical Asia to the Marquesas, Tuamotus (Makatea) and Henderson Island in eastern Polynesia, and to the Marianas and Caroline Islands in Micronesia; the genus is extremely variable, with endemic species represendng it on many islands. Small to medium-sized trees, up to 12 m or taller, with 2-ranked, elliptic leaves; small, pedicellate, yellow or orange to yellowish green flowers in axillary fascicles; and grooved, depressed-oblate fruit. Common in open or secondary forest, thickets, grasslands, and fallow vegetation; occasional in garden areas and grazing areas, often volunteering in fallow vegetation; commonly protected when clearing for new gardens; occasional in home gardens. Durable wood used in light construction, in tool making, and for firewood; leaves and bark used medicinally throughout the Pacific; red dye made from the bark in New Guinea.
48. Gnetum gnemon L. GNETACEAE
"gnetum," "joint fir"
Indigenous from Assam in India through southern Asia and Malesia to the Caroline Islands and Fiji; possibly a naturalized aboriginal introduction into some islands or the result of a selection process from wild varieties. Small to medium, deep-rooted, shade-tolerant tree, up to 15 m high, with broadly elliptic-lanceolate leaves; and ellipsoid fruits that turn orange-red at maturity. Occasional in lowland, ridge, and mature fallow forest; cultivated in or near gardens and in home gardens in the Solomon Islands; common in planted Artocarpus-Pandanus tree groves in highland New Guinea. Tree serves as a support for yams and other shade-tolerant climbers; wood used for house beams; best fibre used to provide cordage for fishing nets and line, and string bags; fruits, flowers, and young leaves eaten in a variety of ways; cooked, dried fruit often stored in the Solomon Islands; leaf sap used medicinally.
49. Guettarda speciosa L. RUBIACEAE
Indigenous from eastern Africa and tropical Asia to the Marshall Islands and southeastern Polynesia, but not to Hawaii. Small to medium-sized tree, up to 20 m high, with large, obovate leaves, and fragrant, long, tubular, white flowers born in cymose clusters; and hard, yellowgreen, ovoid fruits that turn black at maturity. Common to infrequent in coastal strand forest, thickets, and open vegetation on rocky and sandy shores; common in regrowth in older stripmined areas on Nauru; common in coconut plantations and garden areas in Kiribati and on other atolls; common to occa signal in home gardens on atolls. Important in Kiribati and Tuvaluan legends and mythology; national flower of the Marshall Islands; names of the leaf and the plant associated with phases of the moon and stations of the sun in Kiribati; hard and durable wood used in light construction, for pilings, fish-trap stakes, stakes to hold garden mulch in place, coconut huskers, fishing poles, floats, spears, thatching needles, fishing rods, fishnet and bird-net handles, stilts, eel traps, fruitharvesting sticks, bowls, slit-gongs, for canoe hulls, supports, steering paddles, bailers, poles for poling canoes, and floats; the most desired wood for tape-beating anvils in Tonga; wood used in games in Fiji; used for firewood and for making fire by friction; leaves used in fires for drying pandanus leaves and for toilet paper in Tokelau; dead wood used to smoke skirts in Tuvalu; bark, leaves, flowers, and fruit used medicinally; leaf litter considered the most important component and source of black topsoil, which is mixed with compost for the cultivation of giant swamp taro, pandanus, and other crops in Kiribati; leaves, either alone or with other leaves, provide one of the most important composts in Kiribati and Tuvalu; all pastes or preserves spread on Cuettarda leaves for sun drying in Kiribati; leaves used to cover earthen oven and as disposable plates in Micronesia; leaves provide a jet-black hair dye in Kiribati; leaves used as a baby's wash cloth in Ulithi; leaves used for pig feed in Tokelau; leaves used in head garlands and worn in ear slits in Tuvalu; flowers used in garlands and for scenting coconut oil; flowers and young leaves soaked in water to provide deodorant or aphrodisiac in Kiribati; parts used as love charms in Ulithi.
50. Heliconia indica Lam. HELICONIACEAE/STRELITZIACEAE
syns. H. paka A.C. Smith; H. solomonensis Kress.
Considered indigenous to the Palaeotropics and the western Pacific as far east as Fiji and Samoa, but possibly a naturalized aboriginal introduction in some areas and to Tonga; not reported in Micronesia. Erect, coarse, rhizomatous herb, superficially resembling a banana, up to 2 m or taller, with a pseudostem comprised of tightly rolled leaf sheaths; oblong leaves up to 2-3 m long; flowers with overlapping, scarlet and yellow or greenish bracts; and yellow fruits. Common in dense forests, secondary forests, fallow, and garden areas from New Guinea to Samoa and Tonga; occasionally cultivated or protected, in rural and home gardens. Leaves used as thatch for temporary shelter, umbrellas, make-shift sleeping mats, to cover earthen ovens, to wrap food for cooking, especially starchy puddings and the staple "laplap" in Vanuatu (where it is referred to as "laplap leaf"); fibre from petiole and midrib processed into tauanga and used to strain coconut oil in Samoa; flowers cooked as a famine food in Fiji; pseudostems and heated leaves used medicinally.
51. Hibiscus manihot L. MALVACEAE
"bush hibiscus spinach," "edible hibiscus," "slippery cabbage," "sunset hibiscus," "aibika" (PNG Pidgin)
syn. Abelmoschus manihot (L.) Medik.
Indigenous to South-East Asia; an aboriginal introduction to Melanesia and possibly to Tonga from Fiji; probably a recent introduction into other areas of Polynesia and Micronesia. Erect, perennial shrub, 1-5 m high, with slightly fleshy, variably-shaped, entire to deeply lobed or laciniate, bright green to red-green or purplish leaves; yellow, hibiscus-like flowers with dark purple centres; and a beaked, oblong, dehiscent capsule containing numerous pubescent seeds. Common to abundant in both rural and urban food gardens; common in home gardens. A wide range of cultivars planted as an intercrop and uncommonly as a monocrop in small plots as a supplementary food crop; nutritious slippery green leaves and young shoots cooked as one of the major leafy green vegetables throughout Melanesia and in Tonga; an important cash crop sold at local produce markets; recently promoted as a nutritious vegetable in Samoa, the Cook Islands, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and the Federated States of Micronesia; leaves also used medicinally to cure coughs, sore throats, dysentery, and stomach aches; cordage for dancing skirts made from stems in Yap.
52. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis L. MALVACEAE
"hibiscus," "red hibiscus"
Origin uncertain, but probably indigenous to eastern Africa or southern Asia; probably an aboriginal or very early post-European-contact introduction to Melanesia and parts of Polynesia; a pre-World War 11 introduction into most of the other islands of Polynesia and Micronesia. Shrub to small tree, up to 4 m high, with glabrous, dark green to variegated, serrate leaves; and conspicuous 5-petalled, red, pink, white, or yellow flowers. Occasional in rural areas and common to abundant in urban areas as an ornamental and hedge or living fence plant. Planted ornamental; flowers used in garlands and for decoration; leaves fed to goats.
53. Hibiscus tiliaceus L. MALVACEAE
"beach hibiscus tree," "beach mallow"
syns. Pariti tiliaceus (L.) A. St. Hill; P. tiliaceum Britt.; Paritium tiliaceum (L.) A. St. Hill
Pantropical and subtropical and indigenous to the Pacific Islands; possibly an aboriginal introduction to some areas. Spreading, often scrambling tree, 3-10 m high, with cordate, gray-green leaves; attractive, few-flowered clusters of yellow, 5petalled flowers that have a dark maroon to brown centre and age to salmon-pink before falling; and 5-celled, dehiscent, capsular fruits. Abundant in coastal and lowland thickets, along the inner margins of mangroves, often along river banks, common and often invasive in disturbed and open forest and degraded upland areas; common in garden areas, plantations, and fallow areas, and often protected or only severely pruned when clearing new garden plots; occasional to common in home gardens and around villages; common in grazing lands. One of the most useful trees in the Pacific; commonly planted as living fencing and animal pens and in coastal areas, near houses, in gardens, and as an ornamental or shade tree; a creeping variety planted as wind-break in Hawaii; its presence in forested areas considered a sign of former cultivation in Hawaii; features in eastern Polynesian legends and Hawaiian fire-making legends; commoners not allowed to cut branches without permission of chiefs in Hawaii; branches borne in battle by priests as a good omen and allowed to fall in retreat in Hawaii; born by attendants at presentation of first fruits to kings on Easter Island; branches used as tapu markers to delimit restricted areas in Hawaii; used to make spears used in typhoon magic in Ulithi; soft wood used in light construction and wood carving, for house rafters, pig-tethering posts, for canoe outriggers, spreaders, bailers, booms and occasionally hulls, fishing rods, hoists and floats, fishnet frames and handles, bows, fruit-picking rods, tools and tattooing comb handles, kite struts, jackstraw sticks, pestles, breadfruit splitters, coconut huskers, net floats, spears, shore-line posts to delineate fishing zones, fishing gear containers, noddy bird net handles and frigate bird nesting platforms (Nauru), and other purposes; a decent firewood, especially for slow smoking; used in making fire by friction; wood dried for six months used for fireworks in Hawaii; best fibre used as canoe caulking and to make cordage for clothing and dancing skirts and kilts, coconut-climbing bandages or foot harnesses, mats, sandals, sewing tape, bark cloth paint brushes, making fishnets, fishing line and lures, slings, kava strainers, sandals, tying corpses in tape, and cordage for tying, lashing and binding canoes, housing, and other things; bark used to strain kava in Pohnpei to give it its preferred slimy consistency; leaves, terminal buds, unopened flowers, and bark used medicinally, with leaves being used to reduce hemorrhaging and for treating neurological disorders; leaves used to parce] food, especially seafood, as plates, and to line and cover the earthen oven; leaves widely used as toilet paper; flowers used in garlands in Hawaii; bark, shoots, and sapwood eaten in New Caledonia and other parts of Melanesia; leaves occasionally added to compost in Kiribati and Tuvalu; a number of distinct varieties or cultivars recognized in Melanesia and Polynesia.
54. Inocarpus fagifer (Park.) Fosb. FABACEAE/LEGUMINOSAE
syns. I. edulis Forst.; I. fagiferus (Park.) Fosb.; Aniotum fagiferum Park.
Indigenous to Malesia and considered indigenous to the Pacific Islands as far east as the Society, Marquesas, and Austral Islands, but possibly an aboriginal introduction into some areas, such as Niue, where it is found mainly associated with human activity; a recent introduction into Hawaii. A medium to large, buttressed tree, up to 30 m high, with leathery, oblong leaves; fragrant, yellowish white or pinkish flowers; and fleshy, somewhat ovoid or kidney-shaped, yellowgreen fruit containing a large, chestnut-like, edible kernel. Common in lowland forests, particularly in poorly drained areas, inner margins of mangroves and along streams; occasional in garden areas and protected when clearing new gardens; occasional in towns and as a roadside and path-side tree. Features in Polynesian mythology and is the sacred tree of the people of Moce, Fiji, who are referred to as Vuata Ivi (fruit of the ivi); to injure the tree in any way was taboo on Moce and the first fruits were offered to priests; traditional calendar associated with its fruiting in Lau, Fiji; commonly planted or protected as boundary markers; wood used in general construction and wood carving, for tool handles, kava bowls, tape beaters, weapons, packing boxes, etc.; used for firewood; bark a source of dye in Tahiti; leaves used for indicating the value of pigs for ceremonial presentation in Vanuatu; leaves, bark, and stems used medicinally; ripe seed, which tastes like chestnut, eaten cooked as a seasonal staple and preserved in the past in Polynesia and Melanesia; cooked seeds an important seasonal cash crop; gum from fruit used for caulking canoes in Uvea.
55. Intsia bijuga (Colebr.) O. Ktze.
syns. I. amboinicus DC.; Afzelia bijuga Colebr. ex Volkens; Macrolobium bijugum Colebr.
Indigenous from eastern Africa and Madagascar, southern Asia, Taiwan, and Malesia to the Caroline Islands, Fiji, Rotuma, and Samoa; possibly an aboriginal introduction from Fiji to Tonga. Medium to large tree, up to 35 m high, with small but tresses; compound leaves with 1-3 pairs of broadly ovate, but asymmetric leaflets; pure white to pink flowers with a red claw and red to purple stamens in dense terminal panicles; and thick, leathery, oblong pods containing orbicular, black seeds. Occasional in coastal and lowland forests and thickets and on inner margins of mangroves; sometimes found inland and protected in garden areas; occasionally planted in villages in Fiji. Planted ornamental and sacred tree; one of the most sacred trees in Fiji; durable, attractive, dark red-brown wood used in house construction, for canoes and canoe masts, fencing, and furniture, and most desired for wood carving, for food and kava bowls, headrests, containers, tape beaters, combs, walking sticks, war clubs, and a variety of other articles of inter-island trade between Samoa, Tonga, and Fiji; used for firewood; roots and bark used medicinally in Melanesia; seeds used for dancing anklets in Samoa.
56. Kleinhovia hospita L. STERCULIACEAE
"kleinhovia," "puzzle tree," "guest tree"
Indigenous from tropical Africa and Asia through Malesia to the Caroline Islands and Samoa, Tonga, and the Society Islands. Medium tree, up to 20 m high, with ovate to cordate, palmately-nerved leaves; pink or rose-coloured flowers in panicles; inflated, S-parted, papery, pink, capsular fruit containing usually one globose white seed. Common in secondary forest, clearings, and fallow areas, often forming groves; one of the most common pioneer species in Melanesia and Samoa; often felled or ringbarked when clearing new garden plots, but left standing in some areas of Vanuatu. Chosen as worthy of inclusion in hedgerowlalleycropping trials in the Solomon Islands; wood used for light construction, canoe floats, floats for fishnets, yam stakes; considered one of the best firewoods and favoured for making fire by friction; strips of bark provide temporary cordage for binding garden produce or firewood; leaves used to seal earthen ovens, wrap food, and as tobacco wrappers; bark, shoots, and leaves used medicinally; young leaves cooked as a vegetable.
57. Leucaena leucocephala (Lam.) de Wit
"leucaena," "koa haole" (Hawaii), "lead tree," "wild tamarind"
syns. L. glauca (L. ex Willd.) Benth.; Mimosa leucocephala Lam.; Mimosa glauca sensu L.; Acacia leucocephala (Lam.) Link
Indigenous to tropical America; pre-World War I introduction throughout most of the Pacific. Erect, slender shrub or small tree, 1-5 m high, with dense wood; bipinnate leaves; pale green to white, globose flowers in dense clusters; and clustered, flat, dehiscent, dark brown pods containing flat, glossy brown seeds. Common to very abundant in rural areas of large islands, where it has become naturalized in extensive stands; occasional as living fencing; occasionally deliberately planted as fuelwood plantations or as shade in coffee plantations; occasional in home gardens. Planted as shade for coffee plantations and in fuelwood plantations surrounding urban areas in Papua New Guinea; nitrogen-fixing ability well-known; timber used in light construction, for fencing, and as a very important source of firewood; firewood sold commercially in Tonga; foliage and green pods an important fodder and green manure; green pods and seeds occasionally eaten in some parts of the Pacific; seeds used in necklaces and handicrafts. Improved, fast-growing "giant" varieties from Hawaii inttoduced into some areas. Heavily defoliated throughout the Pacific Islands in the mid-1980s by psillid insect infestations, which, due to poor recovery in Tonga, have threatened its status as one of the best species for fuel-wood plantations.
58. Macaranga spp. EUPHORBIACEAE
spp. M. aleuritoides F. Muell.; M. carolinensis yolk.; M. graeffeana Pax & Hoffm.; M. harveyana (Muell.-Arg.) Muell.-Arg.; M. seemannii Muell-Arg.; M. similis Pax & Hoffm.; M. tanarius (L.) Muell.-Arg.; M. thompsonli Merr.
Indigenous to tropical Africa, Madagascar, tropical Asia, and throughout Malesia to northern Australia, the Caroline and Gilbert Islands in Micronesia, and the Cook. Society, and Austral Islands in eastern Polynesia; possibly an aboriginal introduction into some areas, such as the Gilbert Islands, and a recent introduction into some areas, such as the Marshall Islands and Hawaii. Small to medium, monoecious or dioecious, soft-wooded tree, up to 10-20 m high, with, large, variable, but commonly peltate or ovate, leathery, distinctly veined leaves; variable flowers that are sometimes reddish; and small, dehiscent, capsular, often spiny fruits containing seeds with a fleshy testa. Common in secondary forest, fallow vegetation, and patches of forest in open country; one of the main pioneer species in abandoned garden areas; occasional in inland forest, often on limestone; often felled, but occasionally preserved when clearing for new gardens; some species seem well adapted to atolls; infrequent in home gardens. Timber used in house construction for rafters, walling frames, flooring and battens, for wood carving, banana cases, and other purposes; a major source of firewood sold at urban markets; leaves used to seal earthen ovens, to parcel seafood to keep it fresh, and to parcel food before cooking; leaves used medicinally for a range of maladies and to induce abortions.
59. Mangifera indica L. ANACARDIACEAE
Probably indigenous to India and Burma; an early post-European-contact introduction in most areas of the Pacific; possibly an aboriginal introduction into some areas? Large, dense, broad-crowned tree, up to 30 m high, with leathery, lanceolate leaves; pinkish white flowers borne in terminal panicles; and green to orange or red fruit containing sweet, juicy, often stringy, yellow-orange to dark orange flesh and a flat, woody, adhering seed. Common to abundant in garden and fallow areas and usually protected when clearing fallow vegetation for new gardens; common as wild, possibly naturalized, trees in mature fallow forest and along rivers in dry areas; common in home gardens in rural and urban areas and as a street or roadside tree; occasionally planted, mainly using improved cultivars, in regularly-spaced orchards; more common and produces more fruit in drier or intermediate climatic areas, and produces fewer fruit in areas of high rainfall. A sacred plant, the leaves being used in Hindu ceremonies in Fiji; timber occasionally used in light construction and for firewood; fruit eaten ripe and green, with ripe fruit occasionally made into jam or chutneys and green fruit into pickles by Indians in Fiji; an important seasonal cash crop for local sale in Polynesia, Melanesia, and the larger islands of Micronesia; exported either as whole ripe fruit, puree, or juice from Fiji, Tonga, the Cook Islands, and Hawaii; bark used medicinally in Fiji and New Guinea.
60. Metroxylon spp. ARECACEAE/PALMAE
"sago palm," "ivory-nut palm"
spp. M. amicarum (Wendl) Becc.; M. sagu Rottb. (syn. M. rumphii [Willd.] Mart.); M. salomonense (Warb.) Becc. (syn. M. bougainvillense Becc.); M. vitiense (H. Wendl.) H. Wendl. ex Hook. f.; Coelococcus spp. Wendl.; Sagus spp. Steck
Indigenous to Indonesia (where now perhaps only cultivated), New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Fiji in Melanesia, and the Caroline Islands in Micronesia; probably an aboriginal introduction into some islands, such as Rotuma and Samoa, and a recent introduction into other islands. Medium to tall, single-stemmed, columnar palm, up to 10-20 m or higher, with denselypacked, large, pinnate fronds; stout, often spiny petioles; a large, single, terminal inflorescence that is produced shortly before the tree dies; and subglobose, light brown fruit with overlapping, snake-like scales and a very hard, white kernel (endosperm). Grows extensively in freshwater swamps and along streams and rivers in Irian Jaya, Papua New Guinea, and the Solomon Islands, and in localized concentrations on Viti Levu in Fiji; planted deliberately in some areas of western Melanesia and in non-coastal stream valleys, around villages, and home gardens both in eastern Melanesia and in Vanuatu, Fiji, Rotuma, and Samoa; occasionally naturalized in apparently nonindigenous habitats. Important wild and cultivated staple food plant in Irian Jaya and mainland Papua New Guinea and in localized areas of island PNG and the Solomon Islands, such as in New Georgia, Choiseul, and the Langalanga Lagoon area of Malaita, where over a million people use sago regularly; almost pure starch from the trunks of immature (pre-flowering) trees is removed through a laborious process involving felling, splitting, pounding, washing, kneading, and drying; floral bud often removed to improve starch yields; numerous cultivars/varieties exist where trees have been subject to selection and planting; a minor staple or famine food in most of the islands of Papua New Guinea, Melanesia, the Solomon Islands, and other areas; starch used in making pudding or desserts in most areas, including Rotuma and Samoa, although rarely in Fiji; sago starch a major item in traditional "Hiri" trade networks of the Gulf of Papua; sago pith a pig food in some areas; trunk of rotting palms a source of edible beetle larvae; meristemlheart of palm sold at urban and roadside markets in Fiji and cooked in curries by Indians; fronds considered among the best thatching for roofing and walling, which can last as long as 10 years; seeds of M. amicarum used in necklaces and handicrafts and for buttons in western Micronesia.
61. Morinda citrifolia L. RUBIACEAE
"beach mulberry," "Indian mulberry"
Indigenous from tropical Asia and Australia to south-east Polynesia and Hawaii and the Marshall and Gilbert Islands in Micronesia; probably an aboriginal introduction into at least the eastern part of its range. Shrub or small tree, up to 10 m high, with broadly elliptical to obovate, shiny, dark to pale green leaves; head-like clusters of white flowers; and fleshy, globose-ovoid, somewhat cone-like, yellowish white, somewhat gelatinous when ripe, very strong-smelling fruit. Occasional to common in coastal vegetation, along streams, or on the inner margins of mangroves, as an understorey plant in open forests, and in fallow areas, thickets, and waste places; often an early pioneer in grasslands and abandoned agricultural areas; often planted or protected in garden areas and common to occasional in home gardens and villages, especially in Micronesia. Tree features in Hawaiian, Tahitian, and Tongan mythology; commonly planted in home gardens; planted around houses to dispel evil spirits in Nauru; wood used in light construction, for digging sticks, adze handles, canoe parts, canoe paddles, stilts, and for firewood; poles used as taboo markers on reefs in Namoluk; fruit formerly eaten, especially by older people, but now mostly as an emergency food in Polynesia, but more widely eaten in Micronesia, often with toddy or sugar; fruit cooked and mixed with coconut to make pudding in Nauru; ripe fruit eaten as a stimulant on long sea voyages and used in love and fishing magic in Kiribati; fruit said to be eaten in the Mortlock Islands as a male contraceptive; bark and roots provide red and yellow dyes, respectively; roots mixed with lime to make red hair dye in Tuvalu; one of the Pacific's most important medicinal plants, with the roots, bark, leaves, terminal buds, and fruit used to treat a wide range of maladies; stipules used to treat scorpion-fish puncture wounds in Pohnpei; leaves fed to children as a treatment for vitamin-A deficiency in Kiribati; leaves used in head garlands and as compost in Tuvalu; leaves used to wrap breadfruit seeds for cooking in earthen ovens in Namoluk; juice of fruit mixed with spring water and drunk with kava to counteract unpleasant effects.
62. Moringa oleifera Lam. MORINGACEAE
"horseradish tree," "drumstick tree," "saijan, seijan" (Hind)), "malunggay" (Philippines)
Indigenous to north-western India; a pre-World War II introduction into Fiji and a more recent introduction into most Pacific Islands; seems to thrive on atolls, where seen present in Kiribati. Small tree, up to 10 m high, with pinnately compound leaves; many-flowered, pendulous panicles of fragrant, white flowers; and long, 3-angled pods bearing winged seeds. Common on smallholder Indian sugar-cane farms in Fiji and occasional in rural areas throughout Fiji; common to occasional in urban and rural home gardens in Fiji and occasional in other countries where it has been introduced, either by Indians or Filipino residents or as a vitamin-rich experimental food crop. Planted as an ornamental, a food tree, and for hedges and living fencing; bark and leaves used medicinally by Indians in Fiji, the leaves to treat high blood pressure and diabetes; flowers, leaves, and immature fruit cooked as a vegetable by Indians in Fiji; leaves very high in vitamins A and C, iron, and plant protein.
63. Musa troglodyfarum L. MUSACEAE
"fe'i banana," "mountain plantain"
syns. M. fehi Bert. ex Vieill.; M. semmanni F.v. Muell.
Possibly indigenous to New Guinea or New Caledonia; an aboriginal introduction as far east as the Society Islands and the Marquesas; an early post-European-contact introduction to Hawaii (either conspecific or related to M. maclayi F.v. Muell. of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands). Clump- or stand-forming, giant, perennial herb, 4-5 m tall, with a robust, often purple-tinged, pseudostem with copious, blood-red sap; long, dark green shiny leaves; an erect flower stalk bearing thick, blunt, fleshy, un-seeded or few-seeded fruit that are orange to orange-red when ripe. Found in a naturalized or semi-naturalized state in inland mountain or up-valley forests or old fallow forests; occasional cultivation in gardens, along rivers, and in home gardens. Pseudostem used medicinally; leaves used to wrap food for cooking; dry leaves used as cigarette wrappers; sap used to prepare a purple dye for bark cloth in Samoa; ripe fruit cooked as a supplementary staple or to make desserts or puddings, and occasionally sold at urban produce markets. Two or more cultivars recognized in some areas.
64. Musa* (AAA Group) Simmonds MUSACEAE
"banana," "Robusta," "poyo," "Mons Marie"
syns. M. sapientum L.; M. paradisiaca L. var. sapientum (L.) Kuntze; M. paradisiaca L. ssp. sapientum (L.) Kuntze; M. x paradisiaca spp. sapientum (L.) K. Schum.; M. acuminata Colla cvs
Indigenous to South-East Asia; an early pre-World War II introduction throughout the Pacific Islands. Clump- or stand-forming, giant perennial herb, up to 6 m tall, with large, broad-bladed, broadly feather-shaped, bright green leaves; and a curved, hanging flower stalk bearing large bunches of seedless, blunt-tipped, medium-thick-skinned, greenish yellow fruit that turn bright yellow on ripening. Common banana of commerce found on all high islands, as an intercrop in shifting agricultural areas, in small contiguous stands in garden and fallow areas, and around villages; common in home gardens; often planted along borders or in lines at intervals among other ground crops; planted as a monocultural export crop, often under coconuts or with other trees scattered throughout, or with short-term crops as intercrops; major plantings often in alluvial or colluvial soils. Musa (AAA Group) also includes other cultivars, such as the "Gros Michel" banana, or pisang Ambon (Indonesian), and the "Dwarf Cavendish banana," or "nain," both of which were early introductions and more important in the past, but due to susceptibility to disease are of limited importance today. Important food and export crop in many areas of the Pacific, especially in Tonga, Western Samoa, and the Cook Islands, where bananas are a major export crop; common local cash crop sold at urban produce markets and along roadsides; a major intercrop and staple or supplementary food crop in many areas; pseudostems used medicinally, to wrap or parcel food, and for small dishes or food platters at feasts; leaves used to parcel food and for covering earthen ovens; green fruit cooked as an important staple; ripe fruit eaten raw as a snack food.
*The nomenclature for the genus Musa is confused, with most of the following common seedless cultivars or clones (these do not include M. troglodylarum) being triploid crosses of the fenile species Musa acuminata Colla and M. balbisiana Colla. The Latin binomials M. nana Loureiro, M. sapientum L., and M. paradisiaca L. are commonly used as follows: M. nana for the "dwarf Cavendish," and M. sapientum for the taller bananas, which are generally eaten ripe but which are also cooked throughout the Pacific as starchy staples, and M. paradisiaca for the starchier bananas or plantains, which are usually eaten cooked as a staple starch but occasionally eaten ripe as fruit. The nomenclature most widely used by agronomists is that developed by Simmonds, which classifies all cultivars or clones on the basis of their assumed genetic background, e.g. Musa ABB Group would be a triploid cross of one M. acuminala group and two M. balbisiana groups. Both nomenclature systems are presented here to identify more precisely the clones that are currently of widespread importance in the Pacific Islands.
65. Musa* (AAB Group) Simmonds MUSACEAE
"lady's finger banana," "pisang rajah" (Indonesia)
syns. Musa x paradisiaca L. var. hors. "Pisang raja" (M. acuminata Colla x M. balbisiana Colla)
Possibly indigenous to southern India; a late nineteenth-century introduction into the Pacific Islands, in many cases by missionary societies. Common in Vanuatu, Fiji, most of Polynesia, and parts of Micronesia, including atolls, where it is common in home gardens and occasional as an intercrop in rural garden areas. Clump- or stand-forming, giant perennial herb, up to 7 m tall, with bronze-green pseudostems (trunks) composed of leaf sheaths; broad-bladed, broadly feather-shaped, bright green, spirally arranged leaves; and a curved, hanging inflorescence turning into a tightly-packed bunch of light yellow, short, plump, very thin-skinned, seedless fruit. More resistant to bunchy-top virus and leaf-spot disease than most other Musa cultivars. Ripe fruit are an important supplementary or snack food; immature green fruit cooked as an important supplementary staple food to taro and breadfruit in Samoa.
66. Musa* (AAB Group) MUSACEAE
syns. Musa x paradisiaca L. ssp. paradisiaca; M. paradisiaca L.; M. sapientum
ssp. paradisiaca Baker
Probably indigenous to tropical Asia; an aboriginal introduction into most of Melanesia and Polynesia; a recent introduction into Kiribati. Clump- or standforming, giant perennial herb, up to 5 m tall, with green, often red or purple-browntinged pseudostems (trunks) composed of leaf sheaths; broad-bladed, broadly feather-shaped, bright to dark green, spirally arranged leaves; and a curved, hanging inflorescence turning into compact bunch of large, cylindrical or slightly 4angled, blunt fruit with thin yellow skin (green when immature) and soft, pinkish yellow flesh. Common to abundant in rural garden areas as an intercrop and in home and urban gardens; common to occasional in banana patches near agricultural areas or villages. A major intercrop in many areas, such as Fiji and Tonga, and a traditional intercrop in yam gardens in Tonga; pseudostems used medicinally, to wrap or parcel food, and for small dishes or food platters at feasts; leaves used to parcel food and for covering earthen ovens; green fruit cooked as one of the most important staples in areas of Melanesia and western Polynesia; ripe fruit cooked or eaten raw in desserts, often with coconut milk; an important cash crop sold at urban produce markets and occasionally exported overseas from Tonga.
67. Musa* (ABB Group) Simmonds MUSACEAE
"cooking banana," "plantain," "bluggoe," "blue Java," "ash plantain"
syns. Musa x paradisiaca L. var. hors. "Bluggoe" (M. acuminata Colla x M. balbisiana Colla)
Indigenous to tropical Asia; an aboriginal introduction into most areas of Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. Clump- or stand-forming, giant perennial herb, up to 6 m tall, with pale green pseudostems (trunks) composed of leaf sheaths; pale green leaves; and a curved, hanging inflorescence bearing large bunches of light green to blue-gray-green, waxy, thick-skinned, angular fruit with a tapering, blunt tip. Common to occasional in rural garden areas as an intercrop and occasional in home gardens; common in border plantings or along paths and roads on individual agri cultural holdings; a vigorous, easy-to-grow clone that seems to grow well in drought prone areas such as the islands off the west coast of Viti Levu, Fiji, and on some atolls. Important traditional supplementary staple in many areas of the Pacific; pseudostems used medicinally, to wrap or parcel food, and for small dishes or food platters at feasts; leaves are among the most favoured for parcelling food and for covering earthen ovens, green fruit cooked as one of the most important staples in areas of Melanesia and western Polynesia; ripe fruit cooked or eaten raw in desserts, often with coconut milk and a favoured fruit and ingredient in traditional puddings (fekei) in Rotuma; a minor cash crop (fruit, pseudostem, and young leaves) sold at urban produce markets.