Kamani

 
 

Kamani, or ballnut, is native to the coasts of east Africa, from India to northern Australia, and several Pacific islands. It reaches a height of 60 feet, with a trunk 2 or more feet in diameter. Its crown is generally wider than tall. The leaves are thick, stiff, with a prominent central vein and many very fine parallel veins. Flowers are up to 1 inch wide and appear in groups among the foliage. Fruits are up to 1.5 inches in diameter, they are smooth and green at first, wrinkling and turning reddish-brown before falling. It flowers during spring and summer, fruits mature during autumn and winter. Bats eat the pulp of  green fruits and disperse the seeds. The generic name means beautiful leaf. The species name refers to the fibrous texture of the leaf.


The photographed tree is south of the Chemical Enginering Building. From the Rafael Mangual Coliseum to the natatorium there are two rows of kamani intermixed with calaba trees, from the natatorium to buildings A-D all the trees are kamani. The ten trees bordering the plaza across from the Chardón Building were planted in 1956 by Hipólito Irizarry. There are sixteen additional trees from the Finances Office to the Research and Development Center. Kamani and maría trees are frequently mistaken for each other, but the former has larger leaves, flowers and fruits, plus the flower’s ovary is reddish.

Calophyllum inophyllum (Clusiaceae)