Common Name
Bastard Sandalwood

Hawaiian Name

Scientific Name
Myoporum sandwicense



Whole Plant


Location on Campus

 The naio plant is found in the 4th grade garden which is located by the Kalama dining hall.

Natural Habitat

 It can survive in almost any habitat. It can be found all the way the way from coastal plains to the high reaches of Mauna Kea.

Cultural Information

It is an indigenous plant which means that it came to Hawai‘i by itself, but it is also found in other places of the world.

Plant Description


  • Curved stems
  • Herbaceous stem
  • Multi-stemmed


  • 6 cm maximum
  • Leaves are dark green in color


  • Either pink or white in color
  • Around 2 cm large


  • Small
  • Usually white in color


  • Thinly covered seeds
  • Germinates in 18 months

Life Cycle/

  • Slow reproduction
  • Almost 2 years for one plant to sprout


  • Was naturally cultivated by the ancient Hawaiians

Interesting Facts:

  • Ancient Hawaiians used it for house frames
  • Used for building canoes
  • Replaced by true sandalwood
  • Two different types of naio: one is the naio and the other is the naio papa which grows on the ground

Web Site Links

Hawaiian Native Plant Genera

This website has more pictures of the naio.

University of Hawai‘i Kapi‘olani Community College

This website has more information on the naio and contains one picture.

 Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation Database

There is lots of information on this website about the naio.


Bornhorst, Heidi Leianuenuye. Growing Native Hawaiian Plants. Honolulu: The Bess Press, Inc., 1998

Krauss, Beatrice H. Plants in Hawaiian Culture. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press, 1993.

Pukui, Mary Kawena and Samuel H. Elbert. Hawaiian Dictionary. Honolulu: University Press of Hawai'i, 1971

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