The hala is native to Malesia, eastern Australia, and the Pacific Islands.
Malesia is a biogeographical region straddling the boundary of the Indomalaya and Australasia ecozones. By Griensteidl.
The hala may also be native to Hawai‘i,
or it may have been brought by the Polynesians. I used to call this the
”grenade tree,” because a hotel employee in Bermuda warned us that the grenade-like seedpods
sometimes explode when they dry out, shredding the leaves and anything else nearby. I can’t find
any evidence to support this though; he conned us. Still a cool name though.
Identification: This tree reaches 30-45' (9.1-13 m) in height. Its spiny
trunk branches widely into a canopy as much as 35' (10 m) in diameter. Leaves are long, narrow, and sharp—up to 24" (60 cm) long and 2" (5 cm) wide. Most varieties have spines along the edges and midribs of the leaves. The “grenades” are
round or oval, consisting of multiple segments called carpels. These fruits turn yellow, orange or
reddish as they ripen.