Even though I wrote about this beauty earlier, I couldn’t have an Hawaiian Texture series without the keawe tree that practically defines texture. It’s twisty-turny limbs looks exactly like the scary forest trees in the Wizard of Oz. On the bright side, it’s considered the best wood for BBQ and imu fires and is known as a nursery tree because it creates good soil, partial shade, and wind protection for all the plants that grow near it. The trees provide food for people and animals as well as medicine, dyes, cordage, cloth, lumber, and of course, firewood.
This commonest of trees helps stabilize coastal land, but it is also an invasive species, introduced by a priest from the first catholic mission to Hawaii. According to website theprivatenaturalist.wordpress.com, “He planted a tree on the grounds of the Catholic Mission on Fort Street in Honolulu that he had raised from the seed of a Peruvian tree growing in the royal gardens of Paris. By 1840, the progeny of that single tree became the principal shade trees of Honolulu and was already spreading to the … neighbor islands….”
I’d love to bring some home for Eric to use in interesting grilling/smoking ways, but for good reasons, that kind of thing is prohibited. So, maybe I’ll just have to be content with getting some keawe-smoked sea salt. And of course I still have that delicious keawe honey.