Photo Credit
Photo courtesy of M. LeGrande, University of Hawaii-Manoa.

Naio

Scientific name
Myoporum sandwicense
Also Known As
False sandalwood
Plant Family
A tree/shrub up to 30 ft tall. Leaves are green, waxy and elliptic. Fragrant flowers are white to purple-pink and bell-shaped. Fruits are tiny white to brownish drupes.
Identification Hints

Naio can be a shrub or a tree up to 30 ft in height. It can grow low and spreading or tall and upright. The leaves are variable in length, from 1.5 to 9 inches long and are green and waxy. The flowers are white to purple or pink, bell-shaped, and give off a honey-like smell. The flowers can appear year round. Naio fruits are tiny and waxy white berry-like drupes that can turn brownish in color. They are said to be bitter tasting.This tree/shrub can grow in a variety of habitats from dry to wet forest and subalpine shrublands.

Did You Know?

The name Naio is also the hawaiian name for pinworm seaweed. The genus name, Myporum, comes from the Greek words "myo" for "close" and "poros" for "pore" and refers to the leaf glands, which are close together. Naio wood is yellowish in color and oily in texture. It has been used to make many things, including ornamental end pieces for boats, called manu and canoes. The wood has also been shipped to China for use as incense. A type of forest, mamane-naio forest, is home to the endangered honeycreeper, Palila.

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