Hauhau Tree

Fred Rickson ricksonf at BCC.ORST.EDU
Thu Feb 10 11:46:01 CST 2000

And here lies an interesting story.  Tilia is called bass wood in the US
because, apparently, early conversation could not pronounce bast wood from
Europe.  And bast fiber, referring to phloem fibers, are supplied by both
Hibiscus and Tilia....so maybe the usage is related, even if the species
are not.

> From: Thomas Lammers <lammers at VAXA.CIS.UWOSH.EDU>
> Subject: Re: Hauhau Tree
> Date: Thursday, February 10, 2000 10:29 AM
> At 11:55 AM 2/10/00 -0500, you wrote:
> >For translating purposes I would need to know the scientific name
> >of the Hauhau Tree native to Easter Island.
> >The only information I have is that the early Polynesians used it to
> >make ropes, that the tree almost got extinct and that it is
> >described as "a small native tree, related to the linden."
> I do not have a copy of Skottsberg's flora of Easter Island (Rapa Nui or
> Isla de Pascua), but I do know that throughout much of Polynesia incl.
> Hawaii, "hau" refers to Hibiscus tiliaceus L. (Malvaceae), a small tree
> which supplied bast fibers  used for cordage.  It is not related in a
> taxonomic sense to linden (Tilia spp., Tiliaceae), but the leaves are
> and rounded at base like a linden's.
> Thomas G. Lammers, Ph.D.
> Assistant Professor and Curator of the Herbarium (OSH)
> Department of Biology and Microbiology
> University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
> Oshkosh, Wisconsin 54901-8640 USA
> e-mail:                     lammers at uwosh.edu
> phone (office):         920-424-7085
> phone (herbarium):  920-424-1002
> fax:                         920-424-1101
> Plant systematics; classification, nomenclature, evolution, and
> biogeography of the Campanulaceae s. lat.
> -----------------------------------------------------------
> "Today's mighty oak is yesterday's nut that stood his ground."
>                                                  -- Anonymous

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