D10. Kou Tree

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The kou tree grows to be about 30 feet tall.  It has a straight trunk and above the trunk there is a dense crown of smooth leaves and the wood has beautiful markings and colors.  The kou also has a dry hard fruit about an inch long.  The kou has orange flowers that grow in clusters.  The flowers have no scent.  The flowers have five to seven petals.  


Uses:  Hawaiian women liked to use the kou tree for shade when they prepared their kapa.  The kou also had many uses of the household.  The Hawaiians carved the kou wood.  They used the grain of the kou to make calabashes, platters and bowls.  They also carved fish hook containers and images of gods.  The leaves gave a red-brown dye that was used to make designs on the kapa.  The flowers were used for making leis despite the fact that the flowers had no scent, they still looked beautiful on leis.  Interesting Facts: The kou is an evergreen tree.  The trunk has a soft but durable wood.  It also has beautiful designs on it and that's why the kou is carved into many different things.