Campus Plants - Page 8      Gerald D. Carr

Each "thumbnail" image below is linked to a larger photograph.


Cordyline fruticosa, Agavaceae, ti, ki. A woody stemmed candelabra shrub from SE Asia with large green or reddish or brightly variegated leaves, brought to Hawaii by migrating Polynesians. The leaves were used for a variety of purposes, including thatching, rain coats, food wrapping, and hula skirts. The Hawaiians used the root to make a beverage of low alcoholic content. After Cook's time, British sailors taught them how to make a more potent drink (okolehao). Location: St. John courtyard; along road, Diamond Head side of Hemenway.
Couroupita guianensis, Lecythidaceae, cannonball tree. Tree from Guiana with large, fragrant flowers borne on long tangled stems on main trunk below the foliage branches. Fruits spherical, cannon ball sized. Location: Makai of visitor's parking kiosk, Ewa-mauka of Bachman.
Crescentia cujete, Bignoniaceae, calabash tree. Small tree from tropical America with tufted leaves 2-6 inches long, and irregularly bell-shaped, two-inch-long, yellowish flowers sometimes veined with purple. The fruit may be up to a foot in diameter, and while initially heavy with wet pulp and seeds, dries hard, remains smooth, and becomes quite light. These may be cut and used as receptacles or may be used intact as hula rattles.  The fruits can be shaped during growth by tying string around them when young. The flowers open in the evening and are bat-pollinated where native.  The first two flowers were photographed just after opening at late dusk while the third was photographed at mid-day.  Location: Makai side of Campus Center.
Crinum asiaticum, Liliaceae, grand crinum. Large-leaved, short-stemmed herb from tropical Asia, with showy clusters of large white flowers elevated on leafless stalks. Used in medicine in Asia. Location: Diamond Head side of Henke; along road between Campus Center and Hemenway.
Crinum amabile, giant spider lily. Location: Perimeter of Hawaii Hall.
Cupressus sempervirens, Cupressaceae, Italian cypress. Striking, columnar form of one species in a genus of about 22 evergreen trees or shrubs from Europe, Asia, and North America with very small, scalelike leaves, very small male cones, and globose female cones commonly about an inch in diameter. Cupressus guadalupensis S. Wats. (Guadalupe cypress), C. lusitanica Mill. (Mexican cypress), and C. macrocarpa Hartweg (Monterey cypress) are commonly planted as ornamentals in Hawaii. Location: University Ave., makai of Maile Way; Mauka side of Auxiliary Services.
Cyanthillium cinereum, Asteraceae, little or Asian ironweed, purple fleabane. Slender herbaceous weed from tropical Asia with very small lavender to purplish heads. Location: Disturbed sites, flower beds.
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Cycas circinalis, Cycadaceae, sago palm. Stout palm-like tree from India to the Philippines with leaves up to two feet wide and nine feet long that are cut into many segments like a feather. Male plants bear cones that are about two feet long and five inches in diameter. Female plants bear modified leaves that have 6-10 large naked seeds along the edges. The seeds are poisonous when raw but may be ground into flower for bread. The trunks also yield sago, which is high in starch content, but has been reported to be carcinogenic. Location: St. John courtyard.
Cyperus papyrus, Cyperaceae, papyrus. Giant sedge from stream banks in Africa, used earlier than 3600 B.C. in Egypt, and from about 2500 B.C. in Syria and S. Europe. Cultivated as a source of paper until about 1100 A.D. The roots and stems were also eaten raw or cooked. Grown ornamentally in Hawaii today. Location: St. John courtyard.
Delonix regia, Caesalpiniaceae, royal poinciana, flame tree, 'ohai-'ula. Small to mid-sized tree from Madagascar, with a flat to umbrella-shaped canopy and brilliant, orange-red flowers, commonly planted as a street tree. Location: Makai-Ewa of Kuykendall; Maile Way, near campus entrance; along Wilder near Punahou; Horace Clay, between makai-diamond head entrance to Hamilton Library and Paradise Palms.
Dendrobium sp., Orchidaceae, dendrobium. An epiphytic orchid genus of about 900 species from tropical and subtropical Asia, Australia, and Pacific islands. The stems are generally long and jointed; the leaves short and thick; the flowers medium sized with parts all similar. Location: Honolulu gardens.
Desmodium incanum, Fabaceae, Spanish clover. Weedy herb from tropical America with three leaflets per leaf, small pink to purplish flowers and pods that separate into l-seeded units that attach firmly to clothing by way of minute, hooked hairs. Location: Weedy disturbed sites, e.g. Ewa of Pope Lab and makai-Diamond Head of Newman Center, near mauka end of Parking Zone 6.
Dichorisandra thyrsiflora, Commelinaceae, blue ginger. Herb from Brazil with thick, weak stems to three feet or more in length bearing tight clusters of deep blue-purple flowers, each flower about half an inch or more in diameter. Location: Makai plantings, St. John.
Dieffenbachia sp., Araceae, dieffenbachia, dumb cane. Attractive foliage plant from tropical America, commonly grown as an indoor potted plant in temperate areas, often planted outside in Hawaii. Many varieties and species are grown, including variegated forms. The common name alludes to loss of voice that may be caused by chewing and ingestion of any parts of the plant. Serious inflammation of the mucous lining of the entire gastrointestinal tract may be caused by the needle-like crystals of calcium oxalate common in this and other members of the Araceae. The same problem can be caused by at least some varieties of taro if it is not cooked. Location: Makai court of Porteus; Krauss Hall patio.
Dietes bicolor, Iridaceae, African iris. Low herbaceous ornamental from Africa with the sword-like leaves in one plane. The showy flowers are yellow with three brownish spots at the base. Location: St. John courtyard; makai of Post Office, near Student Services.

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