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Species Identification Sheet Common name: Kou Scientific name: cordia Subcordata Geographic area of origin: Kauai Common uses/hazards/importance: the Hawaiian women liked to sit under a kou tree for shade when they were making tapa. They carved kou wood, the used the grain of the kous to make bowls, and platters. They also carved fish hooks containers and images of gods. The leaves gave a red brown due that was used to design kapa. The flowers are used to make leis. The flowers have no scent though. Distinguishing features: kou trees grow to thirty feet tall, it has a straight trunk there are smooth leaves and the wood makes beautiful things. The kou has orange flowers and grows in clusters Date and method of arrival in Hawaii: kou flowers on Kauai pre-date to human arrivals. Indigenous? Yes Endemic? no Invasive? No Other interesting historical, cultural, or ecological information: the kou is an evergreen tree. The trunk is soft and durable. It also has beautiful designs so that's why kou is carved into many things. The kou is used to make bowls. When the flowers touch water, they die faster so when storing the kou flowers you should keep a paper towel around them to keep the moisture off of the flowers.