Plant of the Month: The majestic ‘ulu

Mature breadfruit will often have drips of milky sap on them. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

The Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden has several large ‘ulu trees on the property. (Diana Duff/Special to West Hawaii Today)

A grove of ‘ulu about half a mile wide once stretched across Kona from above the modern town of Kailua-Kona to as far south as Honaunau, at an elevation of about 800 to 1,200 feet elevation. Breadfruit was an important food source for native Hawaiians and the trees also yielded products for cultural and medicinal uses. Today, many people plant ‘ulu trees to enjoy their breadfruit as well as to provide shade on their property. Though breadfruit trees are usually large, some varieties are a bit smaller and all can be pruned to control size. Consider gracing your landscape with one of more of these lovely Hawaiian heritage trees.