Hawaiian Name(s): nīoi

Scientific Name: Eugenia (2 species)

Vernacular Name: none

Family: Myrtaceae

Status: endemic (E. koolauensis) and indigenous (E. reinwardtiana)

Authority: E. koolauensis O.Deg., E. reinwardtiana (Blume) DC.

Description: Small tree rare 2-7 m tall.

Habitat Both species associated with dry slopes on some of the major islands (Wagner et al. 1990:960–961).

Medicines: For treatment of the illness pala, or veneral disease, ‘awa rootlets (Piper methysticum) and ripe niu (coconut, Cocos nucifera) are strained with ‘ahu‘awa (Cyperus javanicus) and the fine shavings of ‘iliahi (Santalum spp.), ‘ahakea (Bobea spp.), nīoi, and kauila woods (cf. Alphitonia ponderosa) are blended. The liquid is drunk twice a day, in the mornings and in the evenings (Chun 1994:103).

Non Medicinal Uses: Nīoi wood used for kapa beaters (Krauss 1993:63).

Specific gravity of wood: unknown

Famous Locations:


`Ōlelo Noeau: He iki nīoi no Paka‘alana. A small nīoi of Paka'alana. A small but very powerful person. The nīoi, the ‘ohe, and the kauila were kinds of trees entered by the poison gods Kaneikaulana‘ula and Kahuilaokalani, and Kapo, a goddess, at Maunaloa, Moloka‘i. The trees were later cut down and made into images.

Dye Color and Parts:

Kino lau:

Location on Bishop Museum Kalihi Campus:

Propagation Information: Native Plants Hawaii.

Seed: Seed length approximately 6.2 mm. Photograph: B.Kennedy. Species: E. reinwardtiana.
Click for image