Hawaii: The Kiawe Tree

 Photo Credit: Rosa Say via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Rosa Say via Compfight cc

Kiawe trees (Prosopis pallida) like this one on A-Bay Beach are a species of mesquite native to Ecuador and Peru.  Introduced to Hawaii in the 1800s they thrive on the hot and dry, leeward (western and southern) coasts of the islands. I hadn’t been able to identify a similar tree behind the beach until Charlotte filled me in on its name with this note, “very common here in Hawaii with sharp thorns that stick thru your slipper.”

This one is huge; its sprawling and twisted limbs provide shelter and a multitude of perches for the cats.

By P. Nixon

By P. Nixon

A few miles up the road bees pollinate a forest of kiawe trees and produce a white honey that is said to have a “delicate tropical flavor“.  Dave purchased a jar to bring home not knowing it was related to the beach trees.  We were looking forward to trying it on our morning toast along with a cup of Kona coffee, but the sweet paste didn’t pass the scrutiny of airport security and with no time to go back out to the counter to check it, it was confiscated.  Next time . . .

Leave a Reply