Candlenut is the State Tree of Hawaii. Aleurites moluccanus is the scientific name of Candlenut and it is commonly known as Kukui nut in Hawaii. It is also called candleberry, Indian walnut, kemiri, varnish tree, nuez de la India, buah keras, or kukui nut tree, and Kekuna tree. In India it has lot of local names, such as; • Hindi: Jangli akhrot, Akhrot • Marathi: Ramakrot, Akhod, Japhala, Ranakot • Tamil: Nattu akrottu, Woodooga • Malayalam: Akrottu, Akshotam, Karankolam, Vadam • Telugu: Uduga, Natu akrotu • Kannada: Akroda, Natakrodu, Arkod, Naadu aakrotu • Oriya: Akshota • Sanskrit: Akharota, Akhota, Akshota, Asphotaka, Gudashaya. Aleurites is the genus of the Candlenut and A. moluccanus is its species. The Hawaii’s State tree Candlenut is belongs from the family of Aquifoliaceae, which is mostly native to Malaysia, Polynesia, Malay Peninsula, Philippines and South Seas Islands; now widely distributed in tropics. Naturalized or cultivated in Malagasy, Sri Lanka, southern India, Bangladesh, Brazil, West Indies, and Gulf Coast of United States.
When a state bodies select a symbol for the state it should be represent extra ordinary design, quality, availability, expression, and usefulness, cultural, traditional and religious back ground, which go back thousands of years or its popularities. It is well-known tree all over the state Hawaii for its distinctive beauty. On the basis of the facts mentioned above on May 1, 1959, the Candlenut (Aleurites moluccanus) that frequently referred to as the Christmas or evergreen holly, and was adopted as the official State Tree of Hawaii
The Facts of the State Tree of Hawaii [Candlenut]
- Common names: candleberry, Indian walnut, kemiri, varnish tree, nuez de la India, buah keras, or kukui nut tree, and Kekuna tree.
- Genus: Aleurites
- Species: Aleurites moluccanus
- Found in: native to Malaysia, Polynesia, Malay Peninsula, Philippines and South Seas Islands; now widely distributed in tropics. Naturalized or cultivated in Malagasy, Sri Lanka, southern India, Bangladesh, Brazil, West Indies, and Gulf Coast of United States..
- Leaf: The leaves of the Candlenut are simple, capricious in shape, immature leaves are large, which can grow up to 30 cm long, palmate, with 3–7 acuminate lobes, shining, turn to ovate while on mature trees
- Flower: The flowers of the Candlenut tree have both male and female flowers in same plant. The greenish-white, fragrant flowers are arranged in a 10-15 cm pinnacled cyme at the end of the branches, with many small male flowers surrounding the female flowers. The flowers are white to creamy in color with five free petals, oblong in shape and up to1.3 cm long. Male flowers are longer and thinner than female.
- Fruit: The fruits of the Candlenut are called ‘nut’. The nuts are round, 4–6 cm in diameter; the seed inside has a very hard seed coat and a high oil content, which allows its use as a candle hence its name in candlenut.
- Bark: The bark of the Candlenut is light gray in color with outstanding lumps.
- Purpose: Ornamental
- Symbolism: Enlightenment, protection, and peace.
The Hawaii’s State tree Candlenut thrive in moist tropical regions, up to 1,200 m elevation. Ranging from subtropical dry to wet through tropical very dry to wet forest life zones, Aleurites moluccana is reported to endure annual precipitation of 6.4 to 42.9 dm, annual temperature of 18.7 to 27.4°C and pH of 5.0 to 8.0. Candlenut tree grows well in the tropical climate with ample rainfall also in dry climate. The soil should be mildly acidic, alkaline and neutrally riches. It grows up to a height of in between 15–25 m with ample dispersal or pendulous branches.
The roasted candlenut has been riches in potassium. It restrains little amount of Zinc, copper and selenium. It also contains fat and riches in protein which as amino acids is good for health. Candlenut can overcome digestive problems. It is a good medicine for Dysentery and Diarrhea. It is used for many aches such as headaches, toothaches and fever. The protein content in the candlenut can be used for the growth of tissues in the body. The presence of fat content in the candlenut is unsaturated fats which help to reduce heart diseases and strokes. The leaves of the candlenut tree act as anti bacterial and painkiller.
To sum up, candlenut tree is the people’s favorite State Tree of Hawaii that Enlightenment, protection, and peace, which outstandingly represents and glorifies the spirit of Hawaii culture.