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Aleurites moluccana, photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto
Aleurites moluccana, photo courtesy of Joshua McCullough/PhytoPhoto

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Zones 23, 24, H2
Full Sun
Regular Water

Aleurites moluccana

Kukui, Candlenut Tree
Evergreen, Trees, Decorative fruit or berries

Native to Polynesia and southern Asia; has naturalized in Hawaii, where it has been designated the state tree. Grows rapidly to 35–60 ft. high and as wide, with an upright to spreading habit. The leaves are often lobed, and covered with short hairs that give them a frosted appearance. Tiny white flowers, produced in branched clusters, are followed by green, 2-in. fruits. These are rich in oil used by Polynesians for fuel and cooking; the polished kernels are used in leis. Best where litter won’t present a problem. Needs well-drained soil. Tolerates wind, salt.

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