Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page


The native trees used for construction and fuel are common to most of the island. There are also some introduced species (e.g. Casuarina) which are good of utility value. There uses are summarized below:

a) Timber commonly used for boat construction:

Cocos nucifera: Found growing wild in almost all the islands. Used for the main mast and the hull of local boats.
Ficus bangalensis: Aerial roots are used for the transverse mast.
Callophyllum inophyllum: For the curved front part of the keel, for internal beams and rudders.
Pemphis acidula: For internal beams and pegs holding the planks together.
Cordia subcordata: For the curved front part of the hull, in front of the boat, for internal beams, for the rim, rudders and keel.
Thespesia populnea: For the curved part of the hull, in front of the boat, for internal beams and rudders.
Buruguiera cylindrica (Mangrove): For the keel.
Hibiscus tiliaceus (Dhiggaa): The tall straight baled trees used for the rim, keel and cross beams.
Adnenthera pavonina: For all used in boat construction. Now this is rare.
Azadirachta Indica: For all used in boat construction - a rare species.
Mimusops elegni: Used for crossbeams and other purposes. Now this species is rare.
Syzgium cumini: For most uses in boat construction. Now rare.
Sonneratia caseolaris: Used for cross beams Now rare.
Terminalia catappa: For keels and general boat building.
Rhizophora mucronata: Used for keels.
Ochrosia borbonica & Pandanus odorotissimus: Building shelter for boats.

b) Timber used for house building

Artocarpus altilis: Used to make door and window frames and sashes.
Callophyllum inophyllum: Used for doors and windows.
Cordia subcordata: Used for doors and windows.
Cocoso nucifera: For rafters, beams, frames and ceilings.

c) Timber used for handicrafts

Hernandia peltata
Barringtonia asiatica
Pandanus odorotissimus

d) Firewood species

Scaevola taccada: Grows around the beaches.
Hibiscus tiliaceus: Bushy variety often used for fuelwood.
Pemphis acidula: Grows on the beach and is a very hard timber.
Guettarda speciosa: The branch wood and stumps of larger trees are in good demand.
Premna obtusifolia: Firewood and also used as handles for dip bucket of wells.

Previous Page Top of Page Next Page