Description: This small to medium-sized native tree grows to heights of 2-15 m (6-50 ft) tall. It has shiny leaves that are wider at the tip (obovate), alternately arranged, and clustered at the ends of the stems. It produces oval-shaped fruits, which turn red when they ripen.
Distribution: It is often found in coastal vegetation, and in some atoll forests such as those in the Marshall Islands. It is closely related botanically to kotōl, an introduced tree in the same genus (Terminalia).
Uses: Ekkōñ is good for firewood, has a nut that is sometimes eaten, and serves as an ornamental tree. It is also an important source of medicine. The leaves of this native tree are used as a general health remedy for children (particularly for the skin).
A Recipe: The ingredients for this preparation are as follows: 3 green leaves of average size, 3 yellow leaves also of average size, and half a grated coconut. The leaves are pounded into a pulp, then mixed with the grated coconut and wrapped up with a piece of cloth to squeeze the juice from the mixture. The juice is collected in a coconut shell and a little water is added. The mixture is then heated and stirred with a piece of green pandanus (bōb) and given to children to drink. The dose is repeated once a day for not more than three days. With a formula of tripled dosage in a tub half-full of water a child may be given a bath for controlling skin infections. In the treatment of diabetes, medical practitioners scrape the inner layer of bark of this tree, expose it to sunlight for a day, and mix it with water. The patient drinks the resulting infusion. Also, after childbirth, attendants boil the leaves and the mother bathes in the liquid as a restorative.