Cabbage Tree

Pisonia grandis
Arbre à choux
Pu’atea (FP), Gatae & Puka (T), Pukatea (M)

Interesting facts

The name of this tree comes from its leaves since they were eaten as a salad or cooked. The Cabbage Tree is a coastal tree and can form dense forests on islets. Cabbage Trees grow up to 25 meters high and are a preferred habitat for some species of seabirds. Their branches are brittle and decay quickly thus creating relatively nutrient rich soil around their bases. On Tetiaroa, Cabbage Trees can be found on almost every motu, but only Motu Reiono supports a dense forest. The seeds of this tree are sticky and barbed which allows them to attach to and be dispersed by birds. However, birds can become completely disabled if too many seeds mat their feathers rendering them unable to fly.

Family

Nyctaginaceae

Biogeographical status

indigenous

Life form

tree

Abundance on Tetiaroa

common

Ecosystem on Tetiaroa

primary forest

sources

Butaud J.F., 2013. Tuamotu du centre, Guide floristique. Direction de l'Environnement.

Butaud J.F., Gérard J., Guibal D., 2011. Guide des arbres de Polynésie française, bois et utilisations. 2e édition, Au vent des îles.

legend

S: Society | T: Tuamotu | M: Marquesas | G: Gambier | A: Australs | FP: French Polynesia