Kōñe, Kiej, Kiejor (Pemphis acidula - Lythraceae)
"Kōñe jubar" - strongly rooted as ironwood

Description: This native woody shrub is known in English as "ironwood" because of its heavy, hard wood. This name causes some confusion, however, because another hardwood tree found widely in the Pacific, but only recently introduced to the Marshall Islands, Casuarina equisetifolia, is also known as "ironwood" to many English speakers. (Casuarina equisetifolia can be found planted and growing on many atolls, where it is also called pinetree.)


Distribution: Kōñe is usually found in strand vegetation close to the hightide line along sandy shores of coral islands. It also grows along the landward edge of mangrove areas.


Uses: The wood of kōñe can be used in house construction and as firewood; it is also useful for making planting sticks, coconut husking stakes (doon), canoe keels (maļ) and mast tips (ļot). Formerly, men fashioned war spears (lōlō) from kōñe. Dancers execute intricate figures and maneuvers with kōñe wood staffs in the jebwe dance. The small, fleshy leaves of this plant are used for baby medicine. Kōñe is also used as a roller for launching and beaching voyaging canoes. In one of his legendary tricks, Letao traded a kōñe-wood canoe -- that was beautiful but too heavy to float -- for a light, fast canoe made of .

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