Not all buds become flowers, but the liko, or new leaf buds of the kolea lau nui will delight you as much as any blossom. Blushing in pinks to deep magentas, the liko contrast nicely with the shiny light to dark green mature foliage of the rest of plant. Its actual flowers are quite nice as well, clustered about the branches in green and purple, and blossoming usually in the fall through spring. The 'i'iwi finds their nectar quite tasty. Flowering is followed up by the presence of the fruit, bunches of green drupes that turn dark purple to black upon ripening. This endemic tree or shrub is most often found in mesic to wet forests, though it can occupy a diversity of habitats, and many recommend that it be used more in landscape design. Its wood proved useful to early Hawaiians, who used it for the construction of hale, for posts, and as a tool for beating kapa. Dyes were extracted from the sap as well as from the charcoal. The stature of the plant is quite variable, depending on habitat and conditions. A kolea lau nui in Puuwaawaa Forest Reserve in North Kona, was nominated for the American registry of big trees, and was added to the National Register in 2013. It was measured 32 feet in height with a crown spread of just over 25 feet.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.