Friday, November 2, 2012

Kamani Trees

 The kamani tree (Calophyllum inophyllum) is a member of the mangosteen family; it is also known as beach mahogany or the oil nut tree.  Valued mainly for beauty, hardiness and shade, they are often the focal point for parks and open spaces. Trees grow 25-65 ft. tall, with a broad spreading crown.  They are well suited for tropical beach and coastal areas.  They tolerate wind, salt spray, poor air quality, drought and brief periods of waterlogged soil. It is a good tree for soil stabilization in coastal areas.

Kamani trees do not tolerate much shade or cold weather.  The trees are not suited to high elevations, cool areas or very dry conditionsSince the spreading roots of these large trees may cause damage to pavements and structures, caution must be exercised when planting on smaller properties, best if grown in sandy soils.

The tree blooms twice a year with small, fragrant, white flowers.  The wood is prized for carving, boat building, cabinet and furniture making. The oil from the nuts, which is mildly poisonous when many are consumed, has been used traditionally for medicine (external), lamp oil and cosmetics. Kamani oil is produced commercially in the South Pacific.