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Psydrax odorata

Alaheʻe or Walaheʻe

[syn. Canthium odoratum]

Rubiaceae

Indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands

Oʻahu (Cultivated)

 

Two beautiful trees in landscape setting.

 

Reportedly a dark brown or black dye was produced from the leaves of alaheʻe by early Hawaiians.

 

Spears, from 6 to 13 feet long, were fashioned for capturing heʻe (octopus) and were often made from alaheʻe. The hardwood was used for farming tools such as ʻōʻō, fishhooks, shark hooks (makau manō) with bone points, short spears (ʻo), and dip nets for fish and crabs. The wood was also made into adze blades for cutting softer wood such as wiliwili and kukui.

 

Medicinally, the leaves and "the white skin of the stem" are prepared by cooking and the bitter medicine is drunk to cleanse the blood.

 

NPH00007

nativeplants.hawaii.edu/plant/view/Psydrax_odorata

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Taken on February 6, 2009