NATIVE RANGE: Southeast hemisphere
DESCRIPTION: Evergreen conifer, green-grey branches with minute scale leaves, both male and female flowers on the same tree.
Also called the Sea Pine, this drought-resistant conifer loves coastlines. Its native region extends from Australia up though Malaysia, the Pacific Islands, Burma & Vietnam. It has been naturalized on some islands off the coast of Africa like Madagascar and Mauritius. However, where it has been introduced in North and South America it can become an invasive species. It has harmed ecosystems in places like Florida, Texas, Brazil, and South Africa.
The leaves, bark, cones & seeds of this tree have proven to effectively remove harmful chemicals from the waste-water of textile dyes.
The almost 6-foot spear Kaumaile was cut from this tree nearly 900 years ago. Its original owner, the hero Tefolaha, fought with it in Samoa and Tonga until his death. Then it was passed down through 23 generations of his heirs.