The genus Fagraea comprises a diverse group of woody gentians that are renowned for having hard wood and fragrant, showy flowers. This diverse assemblage of approximately 70 species is distributed from Southeast Asia, Malesia, to the archipelagos of the Pacific Ocean. Fagraea species occupy important niches in forest ecosystems. These fast growing, pioneer species are an important component in natural succession after forest disturbance and provide food and shelter for many other forest species. The plants have played an important role in the lives of humans and have made their way into the legends of Polynesia. Fagraea plants are utilized by the Asian, Australian, Malesian, Melanesian, Micronesian, and Polynesian cultures for timber, weapons, crafts, medicine, and adornment. This paper is a comprehensive survey of the past and present uses of the species by these cultures and identifies the need for future scientific research on Fagraea.
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