Monday, May 21, 2012

Haole Koa - Kiawe Lookalike

Haole koa (false koa) looks a lot like kiawe. The trees tend to be slender like most kiawe trees, with small, composite leaves. Unlike kiawe, haole koa is very gentle - no thorns. Haole koa also looks a lot like young koa, a valued native Hawaiian hardwood whose leaves change from composite to slender sickle shapes. Or rather, as I was told, the true koa's sickle shapes are not really leaves but elongated stems. Back to haole koa - the young green seed pods are said to be edible according to sources like David Bruce Leonard, but I've never tried eating them. Not yet.

Anyhow, haole koa is also blooming right now. I love its bumpy little green circular buds. They remind me of strange alien antennae or bumpy pom poms or mini green dryer balls.

For comparison, look at the kiawe blossoms below. The leaves and tree shape are similar but the flowers are very different.

Pipe cleaner like blossoms of flowering kiawe.

1 comment:

  1. Cutting back the haole koa in my backyard, it overruns the yard real quick. Wondering if it was something my tilapia would eat. Seems that while some people do eat the green seed pods, they have a toxin that some ruminants can eat if they have the proper bacteria present.


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