Managers: Not defined

BOT160 - Plants in the Hawaiian Environment

Managers: Michael B. Thomas
Botany, Plant ID, Native plants. An introduction to the common native, cultivated, ornamental, and exotic plant species on the UH Manoa campus. Observations of the features of vascular plants and practice in the use of keys to identify plants. Elementary botany/ecology of principal types of plant communities in Hawaii. This course is a study of some of the plants which grow in Hawai‘i. Plants will be identified and discussed in regard to their form and structure. Evolution and ecology of the plants will also be considered. Laboratories will involve specific application of lecture material and several field trips to various parts of the UH Manoa campus and Manoa Valley. Field trips.

Flora of Guam

Managers: Michael B. Thomas
The Flora of Guam was first published by Benjamin C. Stone in 1970. The University of Hawaii at Manoa in collaboration with the the Micronesica, published by the University of Guam, are now pleased to provide readers with the text in electronic format. This project is a work in progress, and is expected to be completed by September 2012.

I would like to thank the following individuals for assisting in initiating and in the development of the e-flora: Dr. Chris Lobban, Editor - Micronesica, Dr. Alex Kerr, and Dr. Kathy Lofdahl.

Nomenclature and taxonomic arrangement is being updated and follows Stevens, P. F. (2001 onwards). Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 8, June 2007. This scheme follows: A.P.G. [= Angiosperm Phylogeny Group] II. 2003. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG II. Bot. J. Linnean Soc. 141: 399-436. Plant names and names of higher taxonomic categories have been cross-referenced with the Plant List.

Please, contact us if you have suggestions, find errors, or identify inconsistencies.

Michael B. Thomas
July 2012

Flora of Samoa

Managers: Art Whistler and Michael Thomas
The flora of Samoa (the archipelago) comprises about 550 native species of flowering plants (Whistler, pers. research). These species fall into 95 plant families and about 300 genera. Although Samoa has the second largest native flora in tropical Polynesia (behind Hawai‘i), its flora is only about one third as large as that of Fiji located about 1100 km (685 mi) to the west. The largest family of flowering plants in Samoa is the orchid family Orchidaceae, with approximately 100 species. Approximately 30% of the flowering plants of Samoa are endemic to the archipelago. Only two genera, Sarcopygme (Rubiaceae) and Solfia (Arecaceae), are endemic to the archipelago. The state of knowledge of the flora of Samoa has lagged behind that of much of the rest of Polynesia. Samoa is the largest archipelago in Polynesia that does not have a published flora. Hawai‘i has a recent flora (Wagner et al. 1990), and Fiji has a recent and large, comprehensive one (Smith 1979–1996). Tonga had a flora published by Yuncker in 1959, and Niue has had two (Sykes 1979; Yuncker 1943). A flora of Samoa is long overdue but hopefully this problem will be rectified in the near future.

Flora of the Hawaiian Islands

Managers: Michael B. Thomas

Hawaii Seed Bank

Managers: Michael B. Thomas and Casey Jones
The mission of the Hawaii Seed Bank is to collect, evaluate, preserve and provide a collection of genetic resources to secure the plant biological diversity of the Hawaiian Islands.

Species checklists are presented summarizing the storage behavior of Hawaiian native plants. A total of 377 taxa have been or are currently being studied in Hawaii. Currently, 141 species are reported as Orthodox, 11 likely Orthodox, 10 Short-Lived species, and 88 Freeze Sensitive. Species are known to be recalcitrant and Dessication-Sensitive include 12 species.

Tier 1 species targeted for collection and storage through the Hawaii-Millennium Seed Bank partnership program are presented. These species are primarily common native species recorded to be desiccation tolerant species.

Data presented below are from the work conducted by the Lyon Seed Conservation Laboratory (University of Hawaii), and the O`ahu Army Natural Resource Program (OANRP) and the National Center for Genetic Resources Preservation (NCGRP) data.

Hawaii's Ferns and Fern Allies

Managers: Daniel D. Palmer, Michael B. Thomas, and Tom Ranker
The Hawaii's Ferns and Fern Allies publication is being digitally reproduced to create a online fern flora through a gift by Dan Palmer. Palmer's publication was the first comprehensive survey of Hawaii's ferns to be published (2003) in more than 100 years. The book covers endemic, indigenous, and naturalized ferns and fern allies (including rare and endangered taxa), providing dichotomous keys, basionyms and synonyms, technical descriptions and distributions, a glossary, and statistical information. The author addresses unresolved taxonomic problems and offers suggestions for future research. He includes information from Hawaiian folklore and mythology, describes uses of ferns by native Hawaiians, and updates Hawaiian common names. More than 100 line drawings illustrate all 222 species, varieties, and forms, and some hybrids. The volume is based on extensive fieldwork, studies of herbarium collections worldwide, and consultations with pteridologists, local ecologists, and collectors. It provides the much-needed scientific basis for a new, worldwide appreciation of Hawaiian ferns and fern allies and for major efforts to protect and conserve them. This well-researched and highly readable book will be enthusiastically received by amateur and professional naturalists, fern enthusiasts, and professional botanists.

About the Author
Daniel D. Palmer, a retired dermatologist, has written several publications on Hawaiian ferns including reviews of the genera Sadleria and Cibotium and is the author or co-author of papers on other Hawaiian ferns. He has visited herbaria worldwide to examine collections of Hawaiian ferns and has assembled an extensive personal collection of specimens and reference works. He now divides his time between Hawai'i and Michigan, where he operates a tree farm.

Acknowledgements: Mahalo to Jacob Suissa, Raphael Hausenfluck-Poli, and Gianna Chesrow for assisting with data entry.

Mānoa Heritage Center

Managers: Margo Viterelli
Founded in 1996 by preservationists Sam and Mary Cooke, the Mānoa Heritage Center is a non-profit organization, whose mission is to promote the thoughtful stewardship of the natural and cultural heritage of Hawai‘i. This remarkable site consists of Kūka‘ō‘ō Heiau, a Native Hawaiian garden and Kūali‘i, a Tudor-style house, built in 1911 that is presently the Cookes' private residence. The heiau and historic home are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Website:

Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit

Managers: David Duffy
The Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit has a forty year history of working to protect cultural and natural biodiversity in the Pacific while encouraging a sustainable economy. Originally founded to support research in U.S. National Parks, the unit has also expanded its efforts to work cooperatively with private and state and federal land organizations, including the Nature Conservancy, Kamehameha Schools, and the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources.

The PCSU Mission, "protecting and restoring Hawaii's native species, ecosystems, and cultural resources PCSU has also produced a series of technical reports on Hawaiian and Pacific natural and cultural resource research and management issues that are widely used by managers and scientists alike.


Plant Biodiversity Inventory of the Alor Arch

Managers: Gary Holton, Michael B. Thomas, and Amanda Blake
The Alor Archipelago is located at the eastern Lesser Sunda Islands. Alor is the largest island in the archipelago which is located at its eastern end. Other islands in the archipelago include Pantar, Kepa, Buaya, Ternate (Alor) (not to be confused with Ternate, North Moluccas), Pura and Tereweng. Administratively, the Alor archipelago forms its own regency (Indonesian: kabupaten) within the province of East Nusa Tenggara.

Plant Diversity of Bhutan - Checklists (Draft

Managers: Rinchen Yanzom and Michael B. Thomas
The eastern Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is characterized as having a marked variation in altitude, ranging from the high Himalayan Mountains in the north to sub-tropical lowland areas in the south. The natural forests, which are rich in diversity and cover 72% of the country, provide wood and edible wild plants to the people. The practice of sustainable use of these forests as a renewable natural resource based on Buddhist ethics of sustainability has long been practices in the area. This has meant that people in the region have become dependent on forests for their basic needs, such as wood, fuelwood, and food, and have developed a close association with nature. This is particularly true for the inhabitants of mountainous areas where sustainable use of forests in the form of traditional knowledge of medicinal use and belief in the curative effects of edible wild plants on human health are still an intrinsic component of life and culture.

This volume contains a checklist of the plants of the Kingdom of Bhutan produced using information gathered from historical and recent collections as well as many recent expeditions. The checklist contains 000 vascular plant families with 5,603 vascular plant species. Of these species, 000 (0.0%) are estimated to be introduced and naturalized and even fewer are invasive. The small number of naturalized species is a good in indication of the large amount of intact vegetation from this area of South America. The largest family is the Poaceae with 000 genera containing 000 species; 00 families are represented by only one species. Over 00 scientists from around the world participated in this project by identifying specimens and checking species lists. This volume should be of use to students, taxonomist, ecologists, and conservation biologists. This collection of plant checklists presents current nomenclatural and distribution linked to herbarium specimens deposited in the National Herbarium, National Biodiversity Centre.

Plant Extinction Prevention Program Species

Managers: Joan Yoshioka
There are currently 238 Plant Extinction Prevention Program (PEP) species, meaning, they have 50 or fewer plants remaining of the species/taxon. This alphabetical list also provides their island distributions and their island-specific PEP Designations. Definitions for each of the designations are provided at the end of this table. Data download, as of April 20, 2015

Plants of Palau

Managers: Ann Kitalong, Sholeh Hanser, and Michael B. Thomas
The Pacific is the largest biodiversity hotspot region on earth and is arguably the most vulnerable to extinctions. Islands have historically been exceptionally vulnerable to extinctions. In 2004 the IUCN determined that out of all known recorded extinctions from mammals, birds, amphibians, reptiles, and molluscs; 72% were island species.

Although the abundance of endemic and rare plants with restricted distributions in the Pacific is widely acknowledged, little is known about them. Palau, at the western most edge of this region has approximately 130-135 endemic plant species confined to only 453 km². Previous estimates of plant endemism rates for this region have proven to be overestimated by far (Costion & Lorence 2012). Many of these plants are rare, restricted in distribution, and/or very poorly known. Approximately 15% of these are only known from the type collections. A preliminary IUCN red-list assessment of all endemic plant species for Palau (Costion et al. 2009) found that for over 60% of them data was insufficient for establishing a red-list category.

Progress towards a complete IUCN Red Listing of endemic plants in this region is imperative, as threats to the island from development and invasive species are increasing. The lack of a complete understanding of which plant taxa are threatened, and to what degree, remains a significant barrier to effective biodiversity conservation in Micronesia’s most diverse flora. This challenge was addressed in this CEPF project by targeting specific taxa for further collection and population inventory while progressing knowledge on the threatened status

Plants of Tonga Checklist

Managers: Michael B. Thomas
The Tongan archipelago is a group of 150 or more islands and islets of volcanic and coral formation. Of these, only a relatively small number are sufficiently large or topographically suitable for plantations adequate to support populations of any size. Most of the islands are arranged in three main, roughly circumscribed, areas situated in the southern, central, and northern parts of the archipelago known as the Tongatapu, Ha'apai, and Vava'u groups respectively.

The islands of these three groups are arranged in two roughly parallel lines from slightly southwest to northeast in the south Pacific Ocean between 15° and 23° south latitude and 173° and 177° west longitude. To the north, and somewhat remote from the northern Vava'u group, lie the volcanic islands of Niuafo'ou, Tafahi, and Niuatoputapu (Keppel). The islands of the eastern line are the more numerous and are of coral origin. For the most part, they are low, flat, and topographically uninteresting. The western line, extending from the extreme southern, and at present uninhabited island of 'Ata to Niuafo'ou on the north, is of volcanic origin. It includes the island of Kao in the Ha'apai group which rises to a height of about 1,000 meters, the highest of the Tongan islands. Some of the islands—for example, Tofua, Fonualei, and Niuafo'ou— are still volcanically active. Tongatapu, the largest of the coral islands, with an area of nearly 100 square miles, is very flat and reaches an altitude of scarcely 90 meters at its highest point. On it is located Nuku'alofa, which is the largest town in Tonga and the seat of government.

UH - Community Colleges Landscapes

Managers: Michael Thomas, Database Manager
The University of Hawai'i Community Colleges includes 7 campuses and educational centers across the Hawaiian Islands.

University of Hawai`i at Mānoa Arboretum

Managers: Michael Thomas, database manager
The University of Hawai'i at Manoa is home to more than 500 kinds of trees and plants. They intrigue campus visitors and provide students and professors with a living outdoor botanical laboratory.

Varietal Diversity on the Selection of Kava

Managers: Andrew Gerren, Orou Gauae, Noa Lincoln, and Michael Thomas
This study will investigate patterns of different kava varieties grown and consumed in Hawaiʻi and Vanuatu, to identify factors contributing to their production and consumption, and to identify major knowledge gaps. The presence of Piper methysticum within the Oceania archipelago has been well documented; however, the botanical variations of kava cultivars and their influence on selection need further investigation. The objective of this study is to develop consumer awareness of kava consumption, understand the role that local producers play in applying their knowledge to the kava growth process, and to catalog what varieties of locally grown kava would be open to the global market. Preliminary data will be compiled from photos, literature, and plant specimens found in Hawaiʻi and Vanuatu. Surveys, semi-structured interviews and focus groups with farmers, producers, consumers, and retailers will be conducted, as well as visits to farms, production sites, and other facilities, where participant observation and field walks will be used to assess factors influencing varietal diversity. Data will be analyzed using indices to determine varietal importance to help map out the complex nature and number of varieties. Identifying and describing the mechanisms of varietal selection will provide insight into future pathways as kava enters the global market. This study will also provide information on cultivar abundance, allowing us to see which varieties require more attention to ensure their survival. Information obtained on kava growth and consumption will be used to analyze the multidimensional concept of “importance” into standardized and comparable numerical scales or values.

Development of the Consortium of Pacific Herbaria and several of the specimen databases have been supported by National Science Foundation Grants (BRC 1057303, ADBC 1304924 and ADBC1115116). Data Usage Policy. Copyright © 2015 University of Hawai‘i.

How to Cite: M.B. Thomas, J.F. Rock Herbarium, University of Hawaii at Manoa. 2015. Consortium of Pacific Herbaria Database (CPH). Available from: (date accessed)

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