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Appendix One hundred Pacific Island agroforestry trees (5)
68. Pandanus** tectorius Park.
"pandanus," "screw pine"
syns. P. pyriformis Gaud.; P. odoratissimus sensu auct. non L. f.; P. fragrans Gaud. spp. P. odorattssimus L. f. vars.; P. spurius Miq.; P. veitchii Hort.; P. whitmeeanus Mart. (syn. P. corallinus Mart.)
Indigenous and probably an aboriginal introduction to most islands in the case of some cultivars, some of which have possibly originated through selection from wild plants in Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. Stout, branching tree, up to 5 m or more tall, with numerous aerial roots and thick, forking stems; spirally-arranged, pointed leaves with armed or spiny margins and midribs; a fragrant, pendant, male inflorescence, with cream-yellow bracts and white spikes; a similar but smaller female inflorescence on separate trees; and pineapple-like ovoid fruit bearing many yellow to red-orange, wedge-shaped, fleshy drupes. Common in coastal vegetation bordering garden areas in almost all island groups, occasionally planted or protected in garden areas and home gardens, and planted in discrete groves on Nauru, on most atolls, and in many areas of Micronesia. One of the Pacific's most useful plants; features prominently in Melanesian, Polynesian, and Micronesian creation mythology, cosmogony, proverbs, riddles, songs, chants, and sayings, and a symbol of love and a nature spirit in Hawaii; many famous pandanus groves recognized in Hawaii, with the Kahala area of Honolulu, formerly known for its groves, named after the tree; people of Kiribati referred to as the "Pandanus People"; commonly planted in home gardens and in monocultural and mixed stands in garden areas; trunk and
*The nomenclature for the genus Pandanus is, like that for Musa, confused, with some taxonomists classifying many of the common cultivars and wild clones or species, both edible and non-edible, as forms or varieties of P. tectorius. Other taxonomists consider them to be distinct species, often listing numerous species or varieties for a given area. For example, P. odoratissimus L. f. has long been thought to be synonymous with P. tectorius, but is considered by many authorities not to occur east of Malaysia. Similarly, P. odoratissimus L. f. var. pyriformis Mart. has been used as a synonym for a wild and doubtful variety of P. tectorius, whereas Stone (1970) considers P. fragrans Gaud. to be the common wild species on Guam, and does not consider P. tectorius to be present. Thus, most named cultivars are commonly grouped under P. tectorius. Other widespread forms, such as P. dubius Spreng., a widespread edible species; and P. spurius Miq. cv. "PUTAT" (syns. P. tectorius Warb. var. laevis Warb. and P. odoratissimus L. f. var. laevis Warb.) Mart., which are widely cultivated for their leaves for use in plaited ware, are also present on many islands in the Pacific. prop or aerial roots used in house construction and for ladders, digging sticks, headrests, rat traps, containers, canes, musical bows, and for fuel wood; roots used to make the ukeke musical instrument in Hawaii; chewed pieces of prop root used as popgun ammunition in Tuvalu and dried to make fuses or tapers used in medical treatment in Tuvalu; green wood used in smokeless fires to wilt pandanus for mat making; dead wood used to smoke skirts in Tuvalu; treated leaves of selected varieties used to make mats, baskets, hats, fans, bracelets, pillows, canoe sails, toy boats, weather screens, balls, toys, and other plaited ware, and for cordage; leaves used for compost, bandages, swabs, corks, cigarette wrappers, whistles and ornaments, and for caulking; most parts used medicinally; male flower used to scent coconut oil, to perfume tape cloth, in garlands, as a love charm and aphrodisiac, and worn in ear slits in Tuvalu, and to make fine mats by Hawaiians in the past; the fleshy drupes (keys) of fruit of many varieties or cultivars eaten ripe as a snack food or cooked and/or dried and processed in a variety of ways to make coarse starch or flour, desiccated cakes, and other staple substitutes in Micronesia and atoll areas, but considered an emergency food in most other areas of the Pacific; aerial root tips eaten on some atolls; stalk or receptacle upon which keys are attached fed to pigs in Tokelau; yellow to red immature drupes strung in leis or garlands; fibrous, chewed or dried, mature drupes (or after being chewed by hermit crabs) used as paint brushes for painting tape, for fuel, and as fishing-line floats or markers; stilt roots used to make fish-net floats, red dye, and fibre from stilt roots for ceremonial skirts in Kiribati, jump ropes in Tokelau, and for stringing leis and straining kava in Hawaii; numerous cultivars or distinct species of pandanus exist, many of which are shrub-like cultivars, and not P. tectorius, although some authorities believe that most of the tree-like and edible cultivars could be variants of P. tectorius.
Cultivars used almost exclusively for fibre (e.g. P. odoratissimus, P. spurius, P. veitchii, and P. whitmeeanus) are highly variable, commonly trunkless, and unbranched shrubs to small, branched, and stilt-rooted trees, with variable, thornless or thorny, green or white and greenstriped leaves; and rarely bearing fruit, although some cultivars bear male flowers and/or fruit when reaching maturity. These are widely cultivated throughout Melanesia and Polynesia in both rural and home gardens; commonly in monocultural patches or as border plantings; occasionally naturalized in swampy and grassy areas and on forest margins, possibly as remnants of cultivation. Leaves treated by boiling or soaking, drying, and dyeing, and used to make mats, baskets, hats, fans, bracelets, pillows, canoe sails, toy boats, weather screens, rain capes, balls, toys, and other plaited ware, and for cordage; leaves also used for thatching in some areas; trunks of some cultivars used in light construction for flooring, etc.
69. Pandanus** spp. PANDANACEAE
spp. P. brosimos Merr. and Perry; P. conoideus Lam.; P. dubius Spreng.; P. julianettii Mart. (excluding P. tectorius, described above, of which there are also edible varieties and cultivars)
Different species indigenous to South-East Asia, New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands; P. brosimos, P. conoideus, and P. julianettii all possibly native to, and semidomesticated in, highland New Guinea; P. dubius is native from the sea coasts of lndonesia to the Marianas and Caroline Islands in Micronesia, and probably an aboriginal introduction into some islands such as Rotuma and the south-eastern Solomon Islands. Highly variable trees, bearing edible fruits.
P. conoideus, of which there are many cultivars, is one of the most important cultivated trees in orchards and around houses in highland New Guinea, with large, conical syncarps weighing up to 8 kg bearing numerous, bright red (rarely yellow) drupes; fruits cored and steamed in earthen oven, boiled or roasted and eaten by directly sucking off the edible mesocarp or in the form of a pleasant-tasting, oily, vitamin-A-rich, ketchup-like sauce that is eaten with greens, pumpkin, or bananas; fruits sold at roadside and urban markets; oil from drupes also used as hair and body oil, polish for arrow shafts, and for paints and dyes; leaves sometimes used for thatching.
P. brosimos and P. julianettii, of which there are many cultivars, have large, ovoid syncarps composed of hundreds of finger-sized, nut-like drupes; found both wild and cultivated at high elevations in New Guinea; oily, white kernels or drupes eaten cooked or raw and sold at roadside and urban markets, as a major snack food and seasonal staple food; fruit commonly smoked and stored in house rafters; leaves used to make bush shelters.
P. dubius is found wild and occasionally cultivated in the Marianas and Caroline [slands, Rotuma, and the south-eastern Solomon Islands; drupes of syncarp eaten ripe as a snack food and cooked and stored as a staple food; leaves and other parts used much the same as P. tectorius.
70. Persea americana Mill.
"avocado," "avocado pear," "alligator pear"
syns. Laurus persea L.; Persea gratissima Gaertn. f.
Indigenous to Mexico and a post-European-contact introduction into the Pacific islands. Medium to large, evergreen tree, up to 12 m or taller, with papery to leathery leaves; small, greenish to yellowish white or yellowish brown flowers; and subglobose to pear-shaped, fleshy fruit with light green to purplish skin and light green to yellow-green, butter-like, edible flesh, and containing a single subglobose seed with a brown seed coat. Occasionally planted and protected in rural garden areas and home gardens. Ripe fruit eaten raw, often as a butter substitute; commonly sold at local produce markets and stores, and a minor export crop in some countries such as Tonga.
71. Pemphis acidula Forst.
Low, sprawling shrub, up to 4 m high, with small, fleshy leaves; small, solitary, white flowers; and small, turbinate fruit. Common on coastal limestone rocks, cliffs, and on limestone bedrock outcrops on atolls; common on inner margins of mangroves and in contiguous stands on the coastal margins of copra plantations and agricultural areas in Kiribati and other atolls. Ancestral tree of the people of Kabara and Wagava, Fiji, who believe they originated as its fruit; referred to by the title of "Vu" (forefather) on Kabara, where only one tree remained in the 1930s; important in protecting inland areas from sea spray; extremely hard wood favoured for carved objects such as house frames, canoe parts, keels, connecting pegs, and paddles, digging sticks, clam knives, tool handles, thatching needles, pipes, back scratchers, fish hooks, fish-net frames, fishing poles, shuttles and meshing needles, fish, eel, and rat traps, spears, fish clubs, war clubs, darts, food containers, mortars and pestles. pounders, pump drill pieces, coconut huskers, combs, drums, tops, throwing sticks and other toys, etc.; a preferred fuel wood with a very hot flame; wood used for spear of wave magician and as staff for magic dances in Ifaluk; old wood used to smoke skirts in Tuvalu; rotting wood mixed with coconut oil as a cosmetic; bark, leaves, and flowers used medicinally in Tahiti and Micronesia; bark and leaves mixed with toddy as baby food in Ifaluk; fruits sometimes eaten in Kiribati; used as pig feed in Tokelau; scraped bark yields a red dye in Tokelau.
72. Pinus caribaea Morel.
Indigenous to the West Indies and along the Caribbean seaboard of Central America from Belize to Nicaragua; a recent introduction to the Pacific Islands; intensive selection has taken place in Fiji, from where it has been introduced to other islands. Medium to large tree, up to 20 m or higher, with wide-spreading branches when mature; dark green foliage with needles (leaves) in bundles of three; and cones with small, apical prickles. Found in extensive monocultural plantations in Fiji, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and Tonga, in village woodlots and as individual plantings in rural and urban areas in a number of countries. Major species used in reforestation of degraded gassland areas in Fiji and southern Vanuatu; sometimes undergrazed with cattle and other livestock. Timber used for construction, fence posts, and fuel wood; major commercial species in Fiji for the export production of wood chips destined for paper production in Japan and timber for export and local sale. Trees have shown susceptibility to tropical cyclone damage in Fiji.
73. Piper methysticum Forst. f.
"kava," "kava root"
syn. Macropiper methysticum Miq.
Now considered a likely domesticate from Vanuatu; once assumed to be an aboriginal introduction from farther west. Shrub, up to 2-3 m tall, with a thick, woody rhizome; stems with prominent, swollen nodes; large, round, heart-shaped, palmatelyveined leaves; and solitary greenish white flower spikes. Common in rural gardens as an intercrop and occasionally in monocultural plots in some areas in Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and in Pohnpei in Micronesia, with residual plantings in other areas of Polynesia; occasional in home gardens; infrequently naturalized along trails. A major social and ceremonial beverage of considerable cultural importance and an important exchange item in Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and Pohnpei, where it is a major cash crop for local sale and limited export; large roots and lower stems crushed or pounded and mixed with water to produce "kava," an alkaloid stimulant that has a mild narcotic, sedative, or soporific effect and that is drunk both ceremonially and as a social beverage; roots, stems, and leaves used medicinally to treat convulsions, stiffness, toothaches, sore throats, respiratory disease, filariasis, intestinal parasites, and venereal disease; kava exported to Germany as an ingredient in medicines to treat high blood pressure.
74. Pipturus argenteus (Forst.
f.) Wedd. URTICACEAE
syns. Urtica argentea Forst. f.; P. incanus Wedd.
sp. P. albidus (H. & A.) A. Gray
Indigenous from Malesia through Melanesia to the Marquesas in eastern Polynesia and to the Marshall Islands and Kiribati in eastern Micronesia; a similar endemic species (P. albidus) exists in Hawaii. Shrub to small tree, up to 8 m tall, with rather dense, white, pubescent young growth; coarsely serrate, oval-ovate, 3-nerved leaves that are green above and white-woolly beneath; greenish white flowers in head-like clusters; and fleshy fruit. Frequent on rocky cliffs near the sea, in coastal thickets, and in dry or open forest; common to occasional in garden and fallow areas; an important pioneer species in abandoned gardens; occasional in home gardens. Features in legends of the Polynesian god Maui capturing the sun in Tahiti; important in magic, sorcery, and ritual in Melanesia; wood used in house construction, for fishhooks, rollers for hauling, and firewood and for making tape beaters in Hawaii; strong cordage obtained from best fibre used for fishing lines and nets throughout the Pacific, and for making ceremonial mats in Samoa and for tying the navel of newborn babies in Tokelau in the past; made into tape cloth in Tahiti and Hawaii; bark cloth paste made from bark sap; bark, roots, and leaves used medicinally; leaves used in ceremonial dress and to parcel food and line earthen ovens in Melanesia and as imitation feathers on fishing lures on Puluwat; flowers used to scent coconut oil in Lau, Fiji; seeds eaten by pregnant women and newborn babies in Hawaii and by children in Tokelau; young leaves eaten after cooking in toddy and coconut milk on Ifaluk; bark fed to pigs on Namoluk; a number of different red and greenleaved varieties or cultivars recognized in Vanuatu.
75. Pisonia grandis R. Br.
"pisonia," "lettuce tree"
syn. P. alba Span.
Indigenous from Madagascar, tropical Australia, and Taiwan to the Tuamotus in eastern Polynesia and the Marshall Islands and Kiribati (including the Phoenix and Line Islands) in Micronesia. Medium to large, soft-wooded tree, up to 20 m or higher, with thin, light green leaves; small, fragrant, white to greenish yellow flowers in cymose clusters; and glandular fruit. Common in solid groves or thickets on small, uninhabited islets and in original inland and coastal forest on most atolls, small limestone islands, and coastal lowland areas of some big islands; occasionally cultivated in home gardens and agricultural areas on some islands. The favourite nesting or rookery tree for sea birds, including the black noddy, a ceremonial delicacy in Nauru; reportedly a protected sacred grove on Onotoa in Kiribati; leaves considered godlike on Tongareva; occasionally planted as a living bathhouse to provide shade and privacy and as a living pig pen in Tonga; soft timber occasionally used for light construction, fence posts, outhouse flooring, canoes, canoe outriggers, floats and bailers; occasionally used for firewood and to make fire by friction; leaves edible and used to wrap food for cooking and eaten with fish in Vanuatu and with taro on Kapingamarangi atoll; leaves a common pig feed in Polynesia and Micronesia; bark and leaves used medicinally in New Caledonia, Polynesia, and Micronesia; planted recently in Kiribati in home gardens and at the hospital for edible vitamin-rich leaves; leaves used as mulching and green manure in Micronesia and Tokelau; a sterile cultivar with edible leaves, P. alba, is the lettuce tree of Indonesia.
76. Plumeria rubra L. APOCYNACEAE
"frangipani," "plumeria," "temple tree," "graveyard tree"
syns. P. acuminata Ait. f.; P. acutifolia Poir.
spp. P. obtusa Lour.
Indigenous to tropical America from Mexico to Panama; a pre-World War I introduction throughout the Pacific. Small to medium-sized, soft-wooded, deciduous tree, up to 5 m or taller, with thick, fragile branch tips; white, milky sap; gray-green, acuminate leaves that are spirally clustered near the ends of branches; and attractive, fragrant, waxy-white to yellow, pink, deep red, or multicoloured flowers. Common in home gardens, especially in urban areas, throughout the Pacific; occasional in rural agricultural areas; common street or roadside tree; commonly planted in cemeteries. Planted ornamental; easily planted from cuttings; flowers used in garlands and dried in the sun and used to scent coconut oil; leis and garlands of plumeria sold locally to tourists and to residents; leaves used medicinally in Nauru. A more recent introduction, P. obtusa Lour., an evergreen frangipani with obovate leaves and large white flowers, is increasingly common throughout the Pacific.
77. Polyscias spp. ARALIACEAE
"panax," "hedge panax"
spp. P. balfouriana (Andre) Bailey; P. filicifolia (Moore) Bailey; P. fruticosa (L.) Harms (syn. Nothopanax fruticosus [L.] Miq.); P. guilfoylei (Cogn. and March.) Bailey (syn. N. guilfoylei [Cogn. and March.1 Merr.); P. scutellaria (Burm. f.) Fosb. (syn. N. scutellaria [Burm. f.] Merr.); Polyscias tricochleata (Miq.) Fosb. (syns. N. tricochleatus Miq.; Polyscias pinnata Fosb. cv. tricochleata Stone)
Depending on the species, indigenous to tropical Asia or Melanesia or possibly aboriginal introductions into the islands of western Melanesia and Polynesia; recent introductions into other areas. Large, erect shrubs, up to 3 m or taller, with few, rapidly ascending branches; and normally compound pinnate, ovoid to orbicular to deeply toothed or laciniate, green, bright yellow to variously variegated leaves, depending on the variety. Common in home gardens and occasional in rural garden areas in Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia. Planted ornamentals in urban areas; important living fencing or hedges throughout the Pacific; commonly planted as boundary markers; very important on atolls to provide protection against sea spray; leaves of some species cooked as a green vegetable, commonly eaten with pig, turtle, fin fish, and shellfish, in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu; one of the most important vegetables in the south-eastern Solomon Islands, where it is eaten regularly, almost always included in earthen oven meals, and fed to lactating women to improve milk production; the consumption of the leaves encouraged to combat vitamin-A deficiency in Kiribati; cup-like leaves of P. scutellaria used as food platters in the Marshall Islands; leaves used as body ornamentation and for dancing costumes; leaves of some species used medicinally; leaves of P. scutellaria used as a stimulant in Papua New Guinea; leaves fed to livestock; stems used as fuel in areas of fuel-wood scarcity.
78. Pometia pinnata Forst.
"Oceanic Iychee," "island Iychee"
Indigenous from the Celebes in Indonesia and the Philippines to as far east as Fiii, Tonga, Samoa, and Niue; probably an aboriginal introduction as far east as the Cook and Society Islands, the Tuamotus, and Hawaii; a recent introduction into some islands; not reported present in Micronesia as an indigenous or aboriginally introduced species. Medium to large, slightly buttressed tree, up to 20 m high, with large, pin nate leaves with prominent veins that are pink to bright red when young; small, white flowers in terminal panicles; and spherical, green to dull red, loose, thinskinned fruit with a gelatinous, sweet, white, translucent pulp surrounding a large seed. Abundant in lowland forests and one of the most common trees in lowland, secondary, and mature fallow forests, open woods, and garden areas; commonly protected when clearing new garden areas; commonly cultivated or protected in active garden areas and home gardens. Important seasonal fruit-tree, of which a number of cultivars or varieties exist in Melanesia and Polynesia; timber used in house construction, tool making, for canoe hulls, and as a high quality firewood; canoe putty extracted from the inner bark; bark used medicinally for a wide range of maladies throughout the Pacific; bark used to produce shampoo in Samoa; leaves used for mulching or fertilizing yam gardens in the Sepik areas of New Guinea; ripe fruit eaten raw and an important seasonal cash crop for local sale; seeds roasted and eaten in parts of the Solomon Islands; fruits a favoured food of fruit bats.
79. Premna serratifolia L.
syns. P. obtusifolia R. Br.; P. taitensis Schauer
Indigenous from east Africa, tropical Asia, and Australia to the Tuamotus in Polynesia, and Kiribati and the Marshall Islands in Micronesia. A shrub or small tree, up to 12 m high, with shiny, green, ovate leaves; small, greenish white flowers in terminal panicles; and small, globose fruit that turns black at maturity. Common tree in coastal vegetation and in open or secondary forest, fallow areas, and thickets; common to occasional in garden areas and home gardens. Commonly planted in Fiji as living fencing; emblem of the god Avaro in Tahiti; a symbol of love, affection, beauty, goodness, pleasure, and virtue in Ulithi; wood used in general construction, for canoe connectives in Ulithi, canoe nails in New Guinea, and to make specialized, large fish-hooks in Kiribati; used as firewood and for making fire by friction in Micronesia; best firewood to cook pandanus in earthen ovens in Nauru; straight saplings or branches used as fishing rods; leaves and roots used to perfume coconut oil in Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Nauru; bark, leaves, and fruit used medicinally for a wide range of maladies throughout Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia; leaves used in ceremonial dress in New Guinea and worn in ear slits in Tuvalu; leaves used to arouse love and a mixture of the bark, coconut milk, and Sida fallax flowers used to banish fear in marriage and to promote true love in Kiribati; important in fishing, canoe making, and house-building magic in Ulithi; flowers used in coconut oil for hair in Samoa; flowers used in garlands in Nauru and Puluwat; seeds eaten by children in Tuvalu; ripe fruit formerly eaten with yams, and a food of pigeons and fruit bats in Vanuatu; root provides dye in Tuvalu.
80. Psidium gunjava L. MYRTACEAE
Indigenous to tropical America; an early post-European or nineteenth-century introduction into most of the Pacific Islands. Shrub or small tree, up to 8 m high, with smooth, light reddish brown bark; rather thick and slightly brittle, prominentlyveined, gray-green, oval-elliptic leaves; solitary, white flowers with white stamens; and small, globose to slightly pear-shaped, light-green to light-yellow fruit with numerous, small, woody, yellowish brown seeds embedded in fragrant, pink to whitish yellow, edible flesh. Common to abundant in scrub and open secondary forest, fallow areas, thickets, swampy or marshy areas, grasslands, and grazing areas; occasionally protected in rural garden areas and home gardens; a major pioneer species in recently abandoned gardens or plantations; widely naturalized in most countries; seems to grow well on some atolls; a declared noxious, difficult to eradicate, weed in some countries. Timber occasionally used in light construction, for fencing, and for fishing poles in Nauru; very highly regarded as firewood; leaves used to treat diarrhoea throughout the Pacific; fruit widely gathered, mostly from wild trees, and eaten green and ripe and sold at roadside and urban markets, fruit used to make jams and jellies; a major commercial crop in Fiji and Hawaii, where wild fruit are used to produce puree and juice for local sale and export.
81. Pterocarpus indicus Willd.
"New Guinea rosewood," "bluewater," "sang dragon," "padouk"
Indigenous from South-East Asia to the Ryukyu Islands, the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, and to Vanuatu and Fiji in Melanesia; possibly an aboriginal introduction into some areas. Medium to large, buttressed tree, up to 40 m tall, with copious, red sap; compound leaves with 5-15 widely-spaced, pale green leaflets; axillary racemes of fragrant, yellow or yellow-orange flowers; and discshaped fruits with a flat, membranaceous wing. Occasional to common in lowland forest, mixed swamp forest7 usually near the sea or along rivers, and in agricultural areas; occasional in home gardens. Fast-growing tree that coppices easily; planted or protected in garden areas for its nitrogen-fixing/nutrientrecycling ability; important living fence plant and for living pig pens; occasionally planted as a boundary marker, shade tree, or ornamental tree; timber used in house construction, canoe building, and for tools, fence posts, paddles, handicrafts, wood carving, yam stakes, and fuel wood: timber exported from the Solomon Islands; bark used medicinally to treat dysentery, anaemia, tuberculosis, headaches, sores, and as a purgative.
82. Rhizophora spp. RHIZOPHORACEAE
spp. Rhizophora apiculata Bl.; Rhizophora samaensis (Hochr.) Salvoza (syn. R. mangle L. var. samoensis Hochr.); Rhizophora mucronata Lam. ("red mangrove"); Rhizophora stylosa Griff. (syn. R. mucronata var stylosa [Griff.] Schimper)
Indigenous from the Indian Ocean to Samoa, Tonga, and Tuvalu in western Polynesia and to the Gilbert Islands in Micronesia; recent introduction into French Polynesia, Hawaii, and other areas. Small trees with prop roots, up to 4 m tall, with thick, leathery, glossy, dark green leaves; dull white, cymose flowers; and cylindrical, dark brown, pre-germinated fruit. Common to abundant on tidal flats, along stream mouths and estuaries, on the seaward side of mangrove swamps, and less often along beaches, landlocked lagoons, and lakes. Important for providing protection from coastal erosion, salt-water incursion, and sea spray to inland agricultural areas; commonly partially reclaimed for agriculture (e.g. sugar cane and rice farming) and mariculture. Wood and stilt roots used in general construction, for needles and awls, earrings, combs, rat traps, headrests, coconut huskers, canoe parts, digging sticks, throwing sticks for games, for threading coconut shells for shark rattles, and scoop-net frames, and for fish-trap stakes in Kiribati because of its resistance to salt water and shipworm; an excellent firewood and also used to make charcoal in Fiji; supple stilt roots once used for bows and arrows in Polynesia and Melanesia and for house walling on Kosrae; bark an excellent source of tannin and yields blackbrown dye for bark cloth in Fiji and Tonga and for fishing line and nets in Samoa; red dye obtained from roots in Kiribati; bark used in red hair dye and to paint or glaze pottery in Fiji and Polynesia; bark scraped to scent coconut oil in Kiribati; leaves an important pig feed in Tuvalu; bark, leaves, and fruit used medicinally in Melanesia, Polynesia, and Micronesia; fruit a supplementary food and used in body ornamentation in Tuvalu; caulking paste made in past from boiled fruits; hollow fruit used as whistle in Samoa.
83. Rhus taitensis Guill.
syn. R. simarubifolia A. Gray
Indigenous from South-East Asia and the Philippines to the Marianas and the Caroline Islands in Micronesia, and the Society Islands in eastern Polynesia. Medium to large tree, up to 20 m tall, with the younger parts more or less pubescent; large, pinnate leaves with oblong, bluntly pointed leaflets; small, white flowers in terminal, compound clusters; and fleshy, globose, black fruits. Occasional to common in lowland forest, most commonly in open forest and secondary, disturbed forest; common in garden areas and sometimes protected when clearing for new gardens. Important pioneer tree species in abandoned garden areas; timber used for general construction, wood carving, banana cases, and a favoured firewood; leaves used medicinally; leaves a source of black dye for the hair in Fiji and for staining the teeth jet-black in the Solomon Islands; fruits a favourite food of doves and pigeons.
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