Acacia Koa
A Shrine

OK, I confess, it's true: I'm still obsessed with the most beautiful wood of this rare aboreal creature.

While there are many places on the web where Koa is prominent, there are, as best I know, no sites dedicated to Everything Koa. So... this. (which is of course itself, like a sapling, Under Construction)

- Richard Geiger
rmg @
updated June 23, 2004

These are from our trip to the Big Island, July 2001 (click to enlarge):

Acacia Koa: Alive

This section contains links to botanical information sources relating to A. Koa. Varieties I've seen mentioned:
  • Acacia kauaiensis Hbd.
  • Acacia koa var. hawaiiensis Rock
  • Acacia koa var. lanaiensis Rock
  • Acacia koa var. waimeae Hochr.
  • Acacia koa - Hawaii's most valued native tree - a fact sheet from the Forest, Farm, and Community Tree Network (FACT Net), of the Winrock International Institute for Agricultural Development.

  • Acacia Koa - Plant Characteristics ...from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service. This seems to recommend against the use of Koa as a Christmas Tree, but I suspect they dismissed the possibility out of hand.

  • Acacia Koa - a fact sheet from the Campus Map web pages of Kapi`olani Community College, Honolulu, Hawaii. (The Fine Arts building is nicknamed "Koa").

  • The Koa Bug (And this is not the one that bit me!)
Silvics of North America: Koa
This is the best compendium of information about Koa that I've found on the net. Written by Craig D. Whitesell, it's from the publication Silvics of North America, a publication of the United States Forest Service. Here's the outline:

  • Want to grow your own?

    Here's a source for Koa seeds and seedlings.

    Darn, this outfit has gone out of the seed business! However, as of June 23, 2004, the web page above states that they still have some Koa seed for sale... get 'em while you can!

    And when you do find the seeds, with the book Growing Koa, you'll know just what to do with them!

  • Need a Koa botanist?.

  • Google Search: "acacia koa" "koa tree" "koa wood" - Go on your own search for more Koa information!

    Koa Lumber Sources

    I've set these links up to go directly to the pages where the most specific information is available. If a link does not work, try accessing pages above the one linked to here (by directly editting the URL in the Location line of your web browser). And/or (please!) let me know, so I can keep this page up to date.

    Sources with specific grading/sizing/pricing information:

    Sources with some grading/sizing/pricing information:

    Sources with no grading/sizing/pricing information:

    Koa in Culture, Art and Artifacts

    Alive in the magnificent tree, then dying into lumber, the magic in this wood beckens for rebirth at the hands of loving artists, artisans, and craftspeople.

    Koa found a special place in the culture of the native Hawaiian people; more recently, and increasingly, it is known around the world as one of the most rare and beautiful woods nature has created.

    Koa and The Law

    And, finally... no doubt you'll be relieved to know that section 2.28.020of the Municipal Code of the city of Santa Monica, California, recognizes A. Koa as a lawful tropical hardwood!