The Monkey Pod Tree, Samanea saman, or also the Raintree is not a native tree to the Hawaiian Islands although many thought that’s were they originally came from.
It originated in Central and South America, but is now common throughout the tropics as a shade tree and that are so beautiful.
The scientific name, Pithecellobium, means “monkey earring” in Greek, that’s where it got the nick name Monkey Pod Tree. It's also called the Saman in Latin America, the Mimosa in the Philippines, and also referred to as the Rain Tree, it is definately a tree that has many names.
In Hawaii, it is sometimes referred to as the Ohai tree, but is not to be confused with an endemic woody shrub which is also called ‘Ohai. These types of evergreen trees are a sight you will not forget if you see one.
This tree seeds were brought to Hawaii in 1847 by a businessman, Peter Brinsmade, who had passed through Panama on the way here. One seedling was planted in downtown Honolulu, and the other in Koloa on Kauai.
The trees are progenitors of all the trees in the state. And its thought that the trees in old Koloa town are directly descended from the first Monkey pod tree.
Monkey Pod Products and Raintrees for Sale!
Below you will find the wonderful Raintree to grow yourself and also some great products made from the durable and beautiful wood of the Monkey Pod.
The Monkey pod is a large tree that provides a beautiful canopy of shade with its thick wide spread limbs with beautiful lush leaves.
It is commonly found in landscapes as focal points on lawns, gardens and public parks in Hawaii.
It also grows wild in old pastures and fields. The tree is capable of growing up to 80 feet tall.
It's part of the legume family, and is a broad, flat-topped tree which has twice compound dark green leaves, paired leaves that fold up in the dark and open with the light. This allows rain to fall through the canopy, so that the grass under a monkey pod stays green even in time of drought. Its pretty amazing how plant life adapts to what’s best for its environment.
This tree is easy to grow; it does best in full sun or very light shade, planted in rich well-drained soil, acidic to slightly alkaline like its natural environments.
This is an excellent container plant for the cooler climates and for the tropical regions a beautiful landscape plant. Monkey Pod will not tolerate shade, frost, or low temperatures.
It grows best in zones ranging from 10-11, Minimum Temperature is 35 degrees
It LOVES full Sun and make sure to plant it in fast draining soil nothing that gets muddy or constantly soggy.
The attractive wood this tree produces is popular and crafted into beautiful furniture, platters, and bowls that are commonly marketed in Hawaii. I have some of this furniture for sale on my site.
The furniture made from Samanea Saman, monkey tree is quite beautiful it has dark and light wood woven throughout it and very recognizable if you saw it.
Tikis are also made from this beautiful wood from the Monkey Pod tree.
I wish I had a yard large enough to have one of these in it, my boys would have hours of fun climbing it!
This tiki was made from Mokey Pod Tree from Tiki Master