Native to the dry forests of Central America, ear tree thrives in the same type of habitat. It was first imported to Hawaiʻi by the famed botanist Dr. Hillebrand. His original planting still stands at Foster’s botanical garden in Honolulu, where it is designated as an exceptional tree.
The large hemispherical shaped crown gives this tree a distinctive shape. Its common name describes the seed pod shape. It yields a plethora of uses, including nitrogen fixation, bee fodder, timber, tannin, soap, gum, jewelry, and food. In some cases, like the leeward sides, shade is its most valued output. The ear tree is an excellent specimen for parks, roadsides, and large estates.
- Nitrogen fixer
- Toxic to animals