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Acacia koaia - Hillebr

Common Name Koai'a
Family Fabaceae
USDA hardiness 10-12
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Highly adapted to dry habitats, and is capable of forming dense forests in areas with very little rainfall. It was formerly found widely in dry forests on all of the main islands. Associated plants include uluhe (Dicranopteris linearis), hala (Pandanus tectorius), ko?oko?olau (Bidens spp.), koki?o (Hibiscus kokio), nehe (Lipochaeta spp.), hala pepe (Pleomele spp.), and ?ohi?a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha).
Range Hawaiian Islands.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (4 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Tender Well drained soil Moist Soil Full sun
Acacia koaia Koai


Forest Starr & Kim Starr starrenvironmental.com
Acacia koaia Koai
Forest Starr & Kim Starr starrenvironmental.com

 

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Summary

Closely related to koa (A. koa), and is sometimes considered to be the same species. Acacia koaia is usually distinguished by growing as a short (rarely more than 5 m or 16 ft), broad, gnarled tree; having the seeds longitudinally arranged in the pod; shorter, straighter phyllodes; and much denser wood. It has been devastated by cattle and other ungulates and is now rare.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of cone
Acacia koaia is an evergreen Tree growing to 5 m (16ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a fast rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 10.
It can fix Nitrogen.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It prefers dry or moist soil and can tolerate drought.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Habitats

Edible Uses

None Known

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Native Hawaiians used ground leaves and bark with ?au?auko?i (Senna occidentalis) and kikania pipili (Desmodium sandwicense) stalks to treat diseased skin. The mixture was then hydrated and used in a steam bath.

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Other Uses

Carbon Farming Solutions - Agroforestry Services: nitrogen, crop shade (Agroforestry is a land use management system in which trees or shrubs are grown around or among crops or pastureland). The wood of koai?a is harder and more dense than that of koa. It was used to make la?au melomelo (fishing lures), hoe (paddles), ihe (short spears), pololu (long spears), ?o?o (digging sticks), ?i?e kuku (square kapa beaters), and papa olona (Touchardia latifolia scrapers). Koai?a leaves were used to cover hale lau koai?e (shelters and permanent sheds).

Special Uses

Carbon Farming

Cultivation details

Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Management: Standard  Regional Crop

Climate: tropical, tropical highlands. Humidity: semi-arid to humid. Highly adapted to dry habitats, and is capable of forming dense forests in areas with very little rainfall. A. koaia has been severely impacted by ranching, agriculture and fires started by humans. Other threats to the species are feral goats and pigs, deer, and invasive alien plants. Carbon Farming Solutions - Cultivation: regional crop. Management: standard (Describes the non-destructive management systems that are used in cultivation) [1-1].

Carbon Farming

  • Agroforestry Services: Crop shade  Plants providing crop shade especially trees.
  • Agroforestry Services: Nitrogen  Plants that contribute to nitrogen fixation include the legume family – Fabaceae.
  • Management: Standard  Plants grow to their standard height. Harvest fruit, seeds, or other products. Non-Destructive management systems.
  • Regional Crop  These crops have been domesticated and cultivated regionally but have not been adopted elsewhere and are typically not traded globally, Examples in this broad category include perennial cottons and many nuts and staple fruits.

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Plants For A Future have a number of books available in paperback and digital form. Book titles include Edible Plants, Edible Perennials, Edible Trees, and Woodland Gardening. Our new book to be released soon is Edible Shrubs.

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Propagation

The seed of most, if not all, members of this genus has a hard seedcoat and may benefit from scarification before sowing to speed up germination. This can usually be done by pouring a small amount of nearly boiling water on the seeds (being careful not to cook them!) and then soaking them for 12 - 24 hours in warm water. By this time they should have imbibed moisture and swollen - if they have not, then carefully make a nick in the seedcoat (being careful not to damage the embryo) and soak for a further 12 hours before sowing. Once treated, seeds are sown in nursery beds. 1 week after germination, seedlings are transplanted into nursery tubes or bags. Seedlings are ready for transplanting into the field when they are approximately 20cm tall, (after 3-4 months in the nursery). Establishment by direct seeding or encouragement of natural regeneration is recommended as heart rot occurs during transplanting. One study recommends air-layering as the best vegetative propagation technique. The seeds are durable and easy to store. They germinate after many years of storage if kept in a cool, dry place. The most effective method for improving seed germination is mechanical scarification. However, hot water soaking works well and is a more practical method, seed should be soaked in boiled water for 24 hours. Seeds are seldom dispersed far from the tree and remain viable in the soil for up to 25 years.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Acacia koaia, known as koai?a or koai?e in Hawaiian.

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Hawaii, United States.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Status: Vulnerable B1ab(i,ii,iii).

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