Pittosporum hosmeri

 

Pittosporum hosmeri Seedling

Potted Seedling

Pittosporum hosmeri hedge

Planted as Hedge

Family Pittosporaceae
Binomial Name Pittosporum hosmeri
Alternate Binomial Names Pittosporum amplectens
Common Names Kona cheesewood; Kona hoawa

Hawaiian names: ‘A’awa, ‘A’awa hua kukui, Ha’awa, Ho’awa

Plant Information A small evergreen tree endemic only on the Island of Hawaii.  Trees range in height from 10 to 25 feet. Flowers are usually hidden under foliage and emit a sweet fragrance at night.  The fruits are similar in appearance to large walnuts.  When ripe they open revealing a golden-orange interior and oily, black seeds that were eaten and spread by the now highly endangered Hawaiian crow, or ʻalalā, (Corvus tropicus).
Uses An excellent native Hawaiian tree for landscaping use as a specimen tree, accent or screen.  Can be planted about three feet apart and maintained as a hedge. Trees require little care and are drought tolerant once established.  They can be grown in close proximity to invasive Christmas berry trees (Shinus terebinthifolius) and are apparently not affected by the allelopathic substances they release to soils that may suppress growth of other plant species.  In early Hawaii wood from the tree was used in canoe making and medicinal preparations were made from the fruit for treatment of sores.
Invasiveness Potential Probably low.  Not reported as invasive.
Endangered Species Status Not CITES listed.  Wild populations are reportedly in decline, which may be associated with the loss of Hawaiian crows that spread its seed.
Plants for Sale We offer only non-certified seedlings.  Seeds are sporadically available for short periods as pods ripen, usually during the winter season.  Seed viability is short lived.  Refer to Store Section for current availability and pricing.
Shipping Information Seedlings are currently offered on Hawaii Island only as they cannot be shipped in soil and or bare root.  We are attempting to grow certified plants suitable for shipping as potted plants next year.  Seeds can be shipped to all destinations.
Improved Cultivars Not available.
References 1.   Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database: Pittosporum hosmeri.  University of Hawaii.  Available: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~eherring/hawnprop/pit-hosm.htm

2.   Native Plants Hawaii.  Pittosporum hosmeri. University of Hawaii.  Available: http://nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/view/Pittosporum_hosmeri

Single Flower

Single Flower

Inflorescence

Inflorescence