15 Evergreen trees in Hawaii

Hawaii has a subtropical climate, which means the temperatures are warm to hot year round and there is little change in temperature with the changing seasons. This means Hawaii has many different types of evergreen trees than the mainland United States.

Hawaii generally has a longer dry season than wet season. Most of Hawaii’s rainfall occurs during winter months from October to April, while summer months tend to be mostly dry. The warmest months on the islands, on average, are September and October. The coolest month is May or June, while December and January are considered to be the warmest months.

The Islands of Hawaii are home to a spectacular variety of trees, a lot of which are evergreen due to the climate. The Koa tree is Hawaii’s most recognized native evergreen. Other common trees in Hawaii that are considered to be evergreen are Loulu palms, Sandalwood, Hala Pepe, and many others…. See: 32 Most Common Trees In Hawaii

1. Kukui/Candlenut Tree (aleurites moluccana)

Candlenut tree
Tatters Candlenut tree

The Kukui/Candlenut tree is an evergreen that thrives in the dryer side of the islands. The Kukui or Candlenut was commonly used by Hawaiians as a source of light, it produces a bright white flame when lit. The nuts produced by this tree are also used for leis and Hawaiian Islands are covered in Kukui nut trees.

2. Cook Pine (araucaria heterophylla)

Araucaria heterophylla
James St. John Araucaria heterophylla

This evergreen hails from New Caledonia and thrives on the more humid side of the island. It is an extremely fast-growing tree that can reach heights of 100ft or more. The Cook pine tolerates its surroundings very well, making it a great addition to any environment, especially in Hawaii.

3. Arizona Cypress (cupressus arizonica)

Arizona Cypress
Chris M Morris Arizona Cypress

The Arizona cypress is a very popular tree in Hawaii because it tolerates dry, hot weather. Many cemeteries have these trees lining the paths, most likely due to this reason. They are also known as Mexican weeping cypress for their unusual leaf growth pattern which makes them look like they are ‘weeping’.

4. Breadfruit (artocarpus altilis)

Artocarpus altilis
Forest and Kim Starr Artocarpus altilis

Breadfruit trees are also extremely common, especially in Hawaii. Breadfruit is an evergreen that grows large fruit. The breadfruit was brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesians, and it grew so well there that many varieties of breadfruit can still be found in Hawaii today.

5. Eucalyptus Tree (eucalyptus)

Eucalyptus tree
Matt Brown Eucalyptus tree

The Eucalyptus tree is originally from Australia, but it thrives in Hawaii. The eucalyptus is the tallest growing tree in Hawaii and also has many medicinal uses, which make it an important addition to Hawaiian forests.

6. Koa Tree (acacia koa)

Acacia koa Koa
Forest and Kim Starr Acacia koa (Koa)

Koa Tree (acacia koa) The Koa tree is Hawaii’s most recognized evergreen. It can grow up to 140 feet tall and its trunk can reach six feet around or more. This beautiful tree produces red flowers that are extremely fragrant, the blooms have the aroma of vanilla and almonds. The Koa tree can be found in homes, parks, temple grounds & other areas around Hawaii. There is a grove of about 500 Koa trees at the World Botanical Gardens on Kauai that was planted by Queen Emma in 1865.

7. Macadamia Tree (macadamia integrifolia)

Macadamia integrifolia
Vahe Martirosyan Macadamia integrifolia

The macadamia tree is a popular addition to Hawaiian gardens. The nuts produced by the tree are also widely used as a food and for their oil, which has many uses from cooking to skincare.

8. Noni Tree (Morinda citrifolia)

Morinda citrifolia Noni
Forest and Kim Starr Morinda citrifolia (Noni)

Noni trees produce a fruit that has many internal and external benefits. The tree’s leaves can also be dried and used for tea. The Noni tree produces an orange fruit that can be eaten right off of the tree or made into juice.

9. Alexandra Palm (archontophoenix alexandrae)

Archontophoenix alexandrae Alexander palm
Forest and Kim Starr Archontophoenix alexandrae (Alexander palm)

The Alexandra palm is an evergreen that can grow up to 50ft tall. It originally comes from Queensland, Australia but it has become one of Hawaii’s most popular ornamental trees due to its tolerance for high winds and salt conditions.

10. Coast Banksia (banksia integrifolia)

Banksia integrifolia Coast banksia
Forest and Kim Starr Banksia integrifolia (Coast banksia)

The Coast Banksia is an evergreen that thrives in Australia. This tree can grow up to 30ft tall, and it produces beautiful yellow-orange flowers annually. The Coast Banksia was introduced in Hawaii in the early 1800s and since then it has become one of Hawaii’s most common evergreen trees.

11. Ironwood (casuarina equisetifolia)

Ironwood trees are an evergreen that grow well in Hawaii. The wood is extremely dense and has become a popular source of construction beams. Ironwood seedlings can be found growing throughout the islands, they are also carried by oceanic currents to new shorelines where they take root easily.

12. Sweet Pittosporum (pittosporum undulatum)

Pittosporum undulatum
Forest and Kim Starr Pittosporum undulatum

The Sweet Pittosporum is an extremely common landscaping plant. This evergreen has many medicinal uses, in fact the sap or leaves can be used to relieve itching or treat wounds. The Sweet Pittosporum produces small white flowers that are very fragrant during certain times of the year.

13. Cabbage Tree (cordyline australis)

cordyline australis
Tony Foster cordyline australis

The Cabbage Tree is a tall evergreen that produces beautiful violet flowers. It originally came from New Zealand, and it can grow up to 30ft tall in Hawaii. In the Polynesian culture, this tree was used to make dye for Tapa cloth and its leaves and roots can also be dried and crushed to use as a fragrant, purple dye.

14. Wiliwili Tree (Erythrina sandwicensis)

Erythrina sandwicensis Wiliwili
Forest and Kim Starr Erythrina sandwicensis (Wiliwili)

The Wiliwili tree is an evergreen that thrives in Hawaii’s tropical climate. This tree produces beautiful red flowers every spring, and it has become one of Hawaii’s most common landscaping plants. The wood from the Wiliwili tree is soft, lightweight & easy to work with so it has become popular for fishing lures and outrigger canoes.

15. Octopus Tree (schefflera actinophylla)

Schefflera actinophylla
Forest and Kim Starr Schefflera actinophylla

The Octopus Tree is an evergreen that has unique leaves. It produces green, red & orange flowers before the leaves emerge in the spring. The leaves are very glossy on one side and have three lobes on the other.