Namesake, Memorial, and Commemorative Trees

UH Mānoa has several kinds of special, celebrated trees, which commemorate people and events important to the university.

In 1949, UH President Gregg M. Sinclair (for whom the library was named) held a ceremony to celebrate the 25th anniversary of an early tree planting by his antecedent David Starr Jordan. The program for this ceremony included a list of "namesake trees," which were trees associated with the people who planted them. Later this tradition of tree-planting was continued by such luminaries as Lady Bird Johnson, and the crown prince and princess (later emperor and empress) Akihito and Michiko of Japan. Some graduating classes have also planted trees as an appreciation of their time on the campus.

Other trees were planted as "memorial trees" to honor the memory of someone who had passed on. A few of these date to the early years of the university, and more of them to the last several decades. Similarly, "commemorativee trees" mark important occasions or institutions, and were often planted on the anniversaries of those events.

Namesake Trees
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1922

Rubber Tree
Ficus elastica (Moraceae)

dedicated to
David Starr Jordan

Large spreading tree in the fig / mulberry family, Moraceae. Native to India, used for an inferior latex product. Not to be confused with the Para rubber tree used for commercial rubber production.

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uhm.1928.0001

1928

Skunk Tree

Sterculia foetida

Sterculiaceae

in memory of

Liberty Hyde Bailey

A large tree in the cacao family, Sterculiaceae. Native to the Old World tropics. The flowers are skunk-scented which are followed by 1 - 5-parted attractive scarlet fruits and oblong black seeds about an inch long. The seeds are oily.

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1935

Chaulmoogra

Hydnocarpus anthelmintica

Achariaceae

dedicated to

Alice A. Ball

for her work using the oil from the seed of this species to relieve symptoms of Hansen's disease (leprosy). A research chemist, College of Education instructor, African-American, and the first woman to receive a master's degree from the College of Hawai‘i (class of 1915), Ball extracted the oil's active ingredient in the 1910s, and based on her research, UH President Arthur L. Dean and others later refined the chaulmoogra extract into a partially effective treatment for the disease.

This tree was was originally planted in 1935 by King Prajadhipok of Siam ‘ewa of old Farrington Hall, to honor Alice Ball for her work. When Queen Lili‘uokalani Student Services Center was built, the tree was relocated to its present place.

This tree has a velvety brown fruit the size of a large orange, whose seeds contain Chaulmoogra oil, used as an important treatment for Hansen's disease (leprosy) before the use of sulfons in the 1940s. UH has one tree in our collection, planted to honor UH pioneer researcher and alumna Alice Ball.

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1952 March 25

Hutu

Barringtonia asiatica

Lecythidaceae

in memory of

Rufus C. Harris

Tree in the brazil-nut family, Lecythidaceae. Native to the south Pacific. Large white flowers that open in the evening and fall in the morning. The poisonous fibrous fruit contains seeds that are grated and used to catch fish by poisoning them.

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Banuyo

Wallaceodendron celebicum

Fabaceae

in memory of

Joseph Rock

Tree in the legume family, Fabaceae. Native to tropical Asia. Tree used for woodworking

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uhm.1959.0002

1959

Gold Tree, Primavera

Roseodendron donnell-smithii

Bignoniaceae

in memory of

F.G. Krauss; H. H. Warner; H. S. Wadsworth; Y. B. Goto

A large tree grown for its handsome foliage and profusion of attractive, tubular flowers.

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uhm.1990.0001

1990

Hong Kong Orchid Tree

Bauhinia x blakeana

Fabaceae

in memory of

Dianne Goldenberg

Tree in the legume family, Fabaceae. Although now cultivated in many areas, it originated in Hong Kong in 1880 and apparently all of the cultivated trees derive from one cultivated at the Hong Kong Botanic Gardens.

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1991

Pink Tecoma

Tabebuia heterophylla

Bignoniaceae

in memory of

Herbert B. Weaver

A large tree grown for its handsome foliage and profusion of attractive flowers.

1992

Giant Crape Myrtle, Banaba Plant

Lagerstroemia speciosa

Lythraceae

in memory of

James Wildern

Horticulture student

Small tree in the loosestrife family, Lythraceae. Native to southern Asia. Sometimes planted as street tree in Hawai‘i, very showy in flower, but seasonal. Various extractions of the leaves and bark demonstrate medical value.

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uhm.1994.0002

1994

Amapa

Handroanthus impetiginosus

Bignoniaceae

in memory of

Marin Luther King Jr.

The original Martin Luther King Jr. memorial tree was a Clitorea racemosa planted in the lawn Diamond Head of Hamilton Library, present site of Paradise Palms Café, which blew down in 1993.

A large tree in the trumpet-creeper family, Bignoniaceae. Native to Mexico through South America. Grown for its handsome foliage and profusion of attractive, tubular flowers. A common trait of this genus is that the tree completely defoliates and is replaced with flowers.

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uhm.1994.0001

1994

Gold Tree, Primavera

Roseodendron donnell-smithii

Bignoniaceae

in memory of

David Quinn

This campus tree was nominated as an Exceptional Tree to the City & County Exceptional Tree listing but failed to make it because at the time UH Planners envisioned putting a building in that would crowd out this magnificent specimen. Fortunately, the current design for the proposed Inouye Center plans to retain it, although the future of other specimens adjacent to Henke is in doubt. (Featured on the Campus Landscape blog.)

A large tree grown for its handsome foliage and profusion of attractive, tubular flowers.

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uhm.2003.0003

2003

Gold Tree, Primavera

Roseodendron donnell-smithii

Bignoniaceae

in memory of

Joyce Watson

A large tree grown for its handsome foliage and profusion of attractive, tubular flowers.

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uhm.2009.0002

2009

‘≈åhai (tree)

Monkeypod, Rain Tree

Samanea saman

Fabaceae

in memory of

Wally Gretz

The classic tropical shade tree with a large, dome-shaped canopy, one of the most common trees on campus. The wood is crafted into platters and bowls that are commonly marketed in Hawai‘i (though often produced elsewhere). The pods have a sweet, sticky pulp suitable for fodder.

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1951 April 2

Autograph Tree

Clusia rosea

Clusiaceae

in memory of

Daniel L. Marsh

Tree or shrub with stiff leaves that discolor when bruised, giving its common name; at one time were marked with numbers and design and used for playing cards. When cut the leaves and fruit exude a bright yellow sap which is used in medicine.

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uhm.1955.0002

1955 March 25

Pongamia, Indian Beech, Pongam

Millettia pinnata

Fabaceae

in memory of

Harry David Gideonse

Large tree in the legume family, Fabaceae. Native to temperate Asia Can grow anywhere (freezing, salt, arid, flooded). Used as medicine, lumber, green compost, and windbreaks / fence rows. Seed oil has been used as a feedstock for biodeisel.

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1978 December

Gold Tree, Primavera

Roseodendron donnell-smithii

Bignoniaceae

in memory of

Holoholo Tragedy; Gary Niemeyer, Bob Harvey, Mike Allen

A large tree grown for its handsome foliage and profusion of attractive, tubular flowers.

uhm.1978.0001-02
uhm.1978.0001-02

1978 December

Gold Tree, Primavera

Roseodendron donnell-smithii

Bignoniaceae

in memory of

Holoholo Tragedy; Gary Niemeyer, Bob Harvey, Mike Allen

A large tree grown for its handsome foliage and profusion of attractive, tubular flowers.

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1993 July 1

Frangipangi

Plumeria rubra

Apocynaceae

in memory of

Mary Ku‘ulei Kuikainahaole

Plaque reads: A gift from her Pauoa home, this plumeria tree is lovingly dedicated to Mary Ku‘ulei Kaikainahaole, who dubbed KOKUA "Kahi O Ka Ulu‘Ana" (The Place of Growing)

Small ornamental tree with fragrant pink to red or rose-colored flowers, long-lasting and popular for lei.

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uhm.2008.0001

2008 March 1

Kukui

Candlenut

Aleurites moluccana

Euphorbiaceae

in memory of

Dr. Vincent Jay Defeo

One of the most important trees in Hawai‘i, used in many ways: fruit and oil for light or polish; bark for dye; lightweight wood for house timbers and canoes; endosperm roasted and eaten with salt as‘inamona relish; seed for lei. It is the kinolau of Lono and the official tree of the State of Hawai‘i, and is favored by Mano o K≈´ terns.

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2009 May

Polyalthia longifolia

Annonaceae

in memory of

Jane K. Kadohiro

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2009 May

Polyalthia longifolia

Annonaceae

in memory of

Ann R. Sloat

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Akee

Blighia sapida

Sapindaceae

in memory of

Dr. Nina L. Etkin

Professor of Anthropology

Introduced to the American tropics by enslaved Africans, and strongly associated with the Carribean. The fleshy arils of the fruit are prized as a food, and with salted cod comprise the national dish of Jamaica, although when unripe they are dangerously toxic. The genus is named for William Bligh, Cook's sailing master and later captain of the Bounty.

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Indian Rubber Tree

Ficus elastica cv. doescheri

Moraceae

in memory of

J. E. Wallace Sterling

Large spreading tree in the fig / mulberry family, Moraceae. A cross between these two species, planted as an ornamental.

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Royal Palm

Roystonea sp.

Arecaceae

in memory of

Harold Bitner

Adapted to the stormy Caribbean, these palms shed their pinnate leaves in high winds to prevent toppling in hurricanes. Volunteer trees on campus are sometimes hybrids of R. oleraca and R. regia.

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Teak

Tectona grandis

Verbenaceae

in memory of

Harlow Shapley

Originally planted by George Hall in March 1947, and relocated during construction of Architecture Building.

Tree in the verbena family, Verbenaceae. Native to India and Java. The wood is valued for heavy construction as well as fine furniture. Powdered wood is also used medicinally; young leaves and root bark yield a yellowish-brown dye.

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Maga

Thespesia grandiflora

Malvaceae

in memory of

Dr. Walter Mauer

A small tree in the mallow family, Malvaceae. Native to Puerto Rico where it is the national flower. Grown in Hawai‘i as an ornamental but valued elsewhere for its durable timber for fence posts and furniture.

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Wild Poinsettia

Warszewiczia coccinea

Rubiaceae

in memory of

Joseph T. Keeler

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uhm.1985.0001

1985

Dwarf Date Palm

Phoenix roebelenii

Arecaceae

commemorating the

40th Anniversary of the UN

A relatively small pinnate palm attractive singly or planted in groups.

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