The biological name of this flower is Garcinia sessilis.
The flowers are reddish in color.
The petals are small, round, and less in number.
The plant is native to Fiji Islands and Tonga.
National Flower of Tonga:
Heilala is the national flower of Tonga and it has a lot of cultural significance in the country.
The plant is evergreen which means that it does not die out in any season. It grows from 4 to 20 meters in height and the bole of this tree maybe 30 cm in diameter. It has no known hazards for human use and it is normally grown for its edible fruit. It acts as a source of materials for the locals and is also associated with medicine. The major reason for cultivation in the Samoan Islands and Tonga is for the edible fruit. It is found in different habitats and can thrive in both wet and dry forest regions.
Since it is evergreen, the plant grows throughout the year. If it is grown for commercial purposes and both the seeds and flowers are needed, a species containing both male and female has to be grown. The fruit produced from this plant is about 4cm wide.
Heilala Facts and Uses:
- The bark from this plant is used for medicinal purposes.
- The leaves from this tree are crushed and then they are soaked in water which is then used to treat any eye problems.
- Wood is used for building houses and the locals make use of it in construction.
- The flower is used for making necklaces and garlands that people wear at weddings and other ceremonies such as graduation.
Heilala Medicine Uses:
The bark of this flower and leaves and used for medical purposes such as for the treatment of eye infections.
Heilala Flower Art:
The National flowers are used extensively in making garlands and necklaces by both men and women.