Plant & Flower Identification

Top 9 Common Hawaii Evergreen Trees

Hawaii is not only beautiful and mysterious but also a friendly archipelago of the United States. It is located in the tropical center of the Pacific Ocean, with an area of 1.67 million square kilometers.

The archipelago has a year-round cool climate, pristine beaches, volcanoes, and diverse vegetation zones.

Thanks to the diverse weather conditions, from the coastal zone to the rainforest to mesic forests and subalpine zone, Hawaii has full potential for the growth of plants!

Now, it’s time to explore some of the most widespread Hawaii evergreen trees.

Top Hawaii Evergreen Trees

hawaii evergreen trees
Hawaii Evergreen Trees

Hundreds of plants are growing gorgeously in Hawaii, such as Koa, Milo, Nanu, Koʻoloaʻula, Lama, Wiliwili, etc.

If anyone is wondering, “Does Hawaii have evergreen trees?”, the list below is an answer! Hereafter are the top common and beautiful trees in Hawaii.

Coconut Palm (Cocos Nucifera)

The coconut palm, which is very famous in the tropics, can be found in the coastal zones of Hawaii. This is a fast-growing tree, especially on beaches. Its popularity may come from high-value usage.

The entire tree can be used for different purposes, including cooking, drinking, crafting, etc.

Generally, the coconut palms reach between 50 to 80 feet with dense and broad leaves, which can be up to 15 feet long. They are drooping, dark green, or yellow.

This plant thrives in sandy land and requires continual watering when they are young. A place with high rainfall is ideal for this plant. However, once they are settled, they can tolerate dryness well.

In Hawaii, although not close to the coast, some areas still have well-developed coconut trees.

Candlenut Tree (Aleurites Moluccanus)

Another plant that prefers moisture on Hawaii Island is the candlenut. It thrives in moderately moist mesic regions in lower to middle lands.

Frequently, the immature leaves are paler and hairier than the older ones. They have several pointed lobes with fuzzy and soft green colors.

Female and male blooms can grow on the same tree. These beautiful flowers mostly come from ivory to white.

The interesting thing is candlenut is Hawaii’s state tree. Therefore, this plant also comes along with numerous traditional values and purposes.

Koa (Acacia Koa)

Coming to another popular green in Hawaii is Koa. It’s the largest and rapid-growing species in Hawaii’s nature. Moreover, Koa is considered one of the top-of-mind native trees in Hawaii.

Usually, they grow naturally in upland forests. Besides, because they have broad, umbrella-like canopies, people planted them around the islands for shade, aesthetics, and protection purposes.

In spite of being planted in residential areas with low altitudes, this plant grows best at lands above 2000 feet. Koa trees can reach up to 100 feet in nature. However, they are often much smaller.

Their appearances can be different depending on the surrounding environments. Some can grow upright, and others are shorter with a bushier build.

Additionally, the precious Koa wood can be used to make crafts or traditional musical instruments.

Paraná Pines (Araucaria Angustifolia)

Are there pine trees in Hawaii?” – Yes! The Paraná Pine is a common tree here. It has a tall, straight trunk and horizontal branches.

We can recognize this plant through its bark, which is scaly and resinous with a horizontal line structure. This variety, which can grow up to 100 feet tall, is considered a good source of wood.

Similar to other green pine trees, its leaves are needle-like, dark green, or glaucous. Those leaves cover the whole tree, but the trunk and older limbs.

Female and male cones of this plant can be found on different trees. Normally, seed cones reach maturity after a year and a half. This is the ideal food source for wildlife.

This brown pine tree is adaptive, so it can live on any soil. However, it grows better in slightly acidic conditions.

Cook Pines (Araucaria Columnaris)

what trees are native to hawaii
Cook Pines

Another famous pine is the Cook pine. It is a cone-shaped plant with horizontal branches growing from a slightly inclined trunk.

The leaves are overlapping and upwards.

The fully-grown leaves are scale-like and triangular, while the younger ones are needle-like. Cook pine’s bark is usually gray, pretty firm, and resinous when peeling off in thin pieces.

The cones are formed on separate trees. On the higher branches, female cones are erect, scaly, and egg-shaped.

On the other hand, in the lower limbs, the male cones appear cylindrical and point downward.

Hawaiian Tree Fern (Cibotium Chamissoi)

The next evergreen plant is the Hawaiian Tree Fern. It has an arching structure of fronds, which can grow up to 15 feet long.

These fronds are usually vibrant green, which brings a very tropical atmosphere.

This Hawaiian plant is the top answer to the question, “What trees are native to Hawaii?”. It’s native to the majority of the Hawaiian islands, including Oahu, Maui, Kauai, Molokai, Lanai, etc.

The tree ferns grow well in semi-wet to wet forests, to an altitude of around 4500 – 5000 feet. We can see them clearly in the eastern areas (the windward place in Hawaii)

If anyone plans to grow this tree, notice that it is a slow-growing species. Averagely, it gains approximately 12 inches per year when young and less when older.

Due to their slow growth rate and widespread use in ornamental tree decoration, their numbers are quite low.

Milo (Thespesia Populnea)

We can find another gorgeous green tree called Milo near the sunny coasts of Hawaii. This type must be in the list of “What are the evergreen trees in Hawaii?”

It is a small, quickly-growing tree with a broad and dense tree layer that is prized for its ornamental qualities.

Moreover, Milo is cultivated for shade and amazing brown (or red) heartwood. Although being a tropical species, it can tolerate moderate frost.

The interesting news is that Milo is considered a sacred tree. We can see it near the temples in various areas of the Pacific. Moreover, it’s a source of food and medicine.

Jackfruit Tree (Artocarpus Heterophyllus)

The jackfruit tree, one of the largest fruit trees in the world, is an evergreen tree with a dense canopy.

These trees have straight trunks with branches coming from the base. The jackfruit has blunt spines and thick, hard skin. We can confuse it with breadfruit, which are related to each other.

Unlike the others on the list, jackfruit trees need fertile, deeply permeable soil with steady rainfall

In dry conditions, they struggle. Jackfruit trees have deep and long taproots, so the planting area must be spacious, and grafting is difficult.

Breadfruit (Artocarpus Altilis)

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At the bottom of the list is breadfruit. This plant can be seen in many tropical climate regions of the world and on all the major Hawaiian islands.

This tree’s fruit has an oval or spherical form of 5 to 10 inches. The fruit skin is green with rough and uneven spines

At first glance, it is quite similar to jackfruit. When they ripen, the color changes into a paler shade. The leaves are very big and have notches and clear veins.

Breadfruit trees are primarily seen in low regions at around 2,130 feet. Breadfruit can adapt to sandy environments but favors well-drained and nutrient-rich soil.


Are there evergreen trees in Hawaii?” – Yes! There are hundreds of plant species because Hawaii is a group of tropical islands with potential weather for plant diversity.

This place has a wide range of microclimates that vary in rainfall, altitude, temperature, and numerous other factors, creating an enchanting picture of Hawaii’s evergreen trees.

Coconut, Candlenut, Koa, Milo, etc., are top names that we can count on when looking for an evergreen tree!

Samuel Mark

Hello I am Samuel. Samuel's Garden is a garden blog where I share my experiences in garden caring and tree growth. Hope you enjoy it!

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