UH Manoa Arboretum Checklist
Authors: Roxanne Adams and Michael B. Thomas
Locality: Hawaiian Islands

This checklist was prepared in collaboration with the UH Manoa Campus Heritage Report. The overall purpose of this Report is to collect information concerning the heritage resources of the University to allow for their use in the visioning and future master planning processes.

Significant Botanical Contributors

Dr. Joseph Francis Charles Rock
Dr. Joseph Rock is described best as “a skilled, energetic, and resourceful botanist” (Kamins 1998: 15). “He was considered to be one of the world’s leading botanists and linguists as well as a ranking cartographer anthropologist and author” (The Honolulu Advertiser, 1962: A6). His work at the University helped to establish botanic education and his plantings on the University grounds have enabled the campus to become a unique space for botanic collections of specimens and trees.

In 1911, Dr. Rock joined the College of Hawaiʻi as a faculty member. Upon his hiring, he brought a herbarium to the college that he had assembled from 1908 to 1911 with the Territorial Division of  Forestry. He had served as botanical collector and assistant with the Division (Kamins 1998: 15). His herbarium was “the most complete collection in the world of the indigenous flora of Hawaiʻi” (College of Hawai‘i Records, No. 9, Report of the Board of Regents to the Legislature, 1913 as cited in Kamins 1998: 197). During his time at UH, he published the first research document from the College, entitled, “Notes upon Hawaiian Plants with Descriptions of New Species and Varieties” (Kamins 1998: 15).

“‘Rock’s interest in tropical plants extended beyond the herbarium and courses in systematic botany, as is evident in a 1913 listing of the College’ needs where he advocated establishing ‘upon these grounds a Botanical Garden where all the plants of the tropics suitable to this elevation, climate and soil could be grown’” (Kamins 1998: 197). In 1914, Dr. Rock became a part of a faculty Buildings and Grounds Committee of the University and was then tasked with developing 20 acres of the campus into his botanical garden. He took a sabbatical to help with the collection of plants and trees for this botanical garden. The plants that he collected came from various countries and territories, including Hawaiʻi, Asia, Indonesia and the Americas (Kamins 1998: 197-198). Between 1914 and 1919, he conducted extensive research in Herbaria in museums at Harvard and in Berlin, Vienna and Paris and he made several plant collecting trips, at his own expense, to Australia, Ceylon, Cuba, Central and South America, Java, Mauritius, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, southern California, Siam, and Malaya (Chock 1963: 91-92). He eventually collected about 500 species in four years to plant on the campus (Kamins 1998: 15).

Dr. Gerald (Gerry) Carr
A taxonomist and Emeritus Professor of Botany, Dr. Gerald (Gerry) Carr, directed a Plant Mapping survey of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa by the Botany Department of the University in 2004. He later compiled a series of Plant Materials maps and lists for the University in 2005.

Campus Heritage Report - Abstract
The project includes detailed research and physical examination of approximately 75 historic buildings; a careful survey and inventory of the University’s unique botanic collection of specimen trees and shrubs developed with the foundation of the campus between 1914 and around 1920 by noted tropical botanist Joseph Rock (1884-1962); further documentation of several designed landscapes and landscape features both at the University of Hawai‘i and the adjacent East-West Center and condition inventory of all plant materials on the campus. The project includes documentation in the format for preparation of National Register nomination forms for all significant landscape features and buildings on the campus. The resulting archive and data base are augmented by historic photographs, maps and other materials (including planting lists) to create a permanent archive on the campus. The archive, inventory, drawings and other research materials will inform the existing plan and serve as a source of information for future modifications of the plan.

Notes: This UHM Campus Heritage Report was funded by: a $100,000 Campus Heritage Grant from the Getty Foundation.

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Families: 2
Genera: 2
Species: 2
Total Taxa: 2

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Abutilon menziesii Seem. - Hidden-Petaled Ilima
Cocos nucifera L. - Coconut Palm