Flora of the Hawaiian Islands
Dicotyledon Literature for Calophyllum inophyllum
Smith, 1981; Stevens, 1980; Lorence & Wagner, 2020.
   Calophyllaceae Bibliography
      Calophyllum inophyllum

Common name(s): Alexandrian laurel, kamani, kamanu
General Information
DistributionNative from eastern Africa, India, Taiwan, and Malesia to Australia and the Tuamotus.In the Hawaiian Islands, a Polynesian introduction on Kaua`i, O`ahu, Moloka`i, Lana`i, Maui, Hawai`i.

Large tree, 8–25 m tall, with milky sap, trunk massive, to 1.5 m in diameter, bark deeply fissured.
Leaves chartaceous or somewhat coriaceous, glabrous; blade broadly elliptic to obovate-elliptic, 11–20 cm long, 5.5–9 cm wide, lateral veins arising at a 70° angle or more from midrib, apex rounded or notched; petiole 1–3 cm long.
Inflorescences axillary, racemose or paniculate. Flowers on pedicel 2–6 cm long; 4 sepals, outer ones 4–6 mm long, inner ones reflexed and slightly longer, petaloid; petals 4(–8), white, 8–14 mm long; stamens yellow; ovary reddish purple after pollination, globose, style often S-shaped.
Fruit green ripening yellowish brown or dark brown, broadly ellipsoid to subglobose, 2–3(–5) cm in diameter, pulp 3–5 mm thick.
Seed subglobose-ellipsoid, 2–2.5 cm in diameter, testa with spongy outer layer 1–12 mm thick.
2n = 32.
This was a highly prized tree; subject of many legends and planted around marae. Seeds yield oil of tamanu, used for general skin and cosmetic purposes. The main trunk was used for canoe construction and idols.
David Lorence