A green-and-white anthurium hybrid acts as the symbol of a century of University of Hawaii accomplishment
THOUGH IT MIGHT be diminutive in size, the flower officially named the "Centennial" anthurium, or UH1272 as it was originally known, has a heady distinction attached to it.
Standing at just under 5 inches tall and 2.5 inches wide, the anthurium was named the official symbol of the University of Hawaii's 100th anniversary, being celebrated this year.
Researchers at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources were asked by school officials to name a flower in honor of the occasion. The team of Heidi Kuehnle, Tessie Amore, John Kunisaki, Joanne Lichty, Janice Uchida and professor emeritus Haruyuki Kamemoto chose the elegant white-and-green-striped anthurium in particular for its colors, which reflect UH's official colors.
CRAIG T. KOJIMA / CKOJIMA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Bob and BrigItte Campbell, dressed in turn-of-the-century clothing, hold a poster with designs of the Centennial stamp. The couple, along with Miles Hakoda, right, a public relations officer who assembled the stamp, sold the stamp earlier this year on the University of Hawaii campus. CLICK FOR LARGE
The hybrid, first crossed in January 1987, was among several flowers considered in selecting the Centennial bloom, said Amore, an assistant researcher with the department. Its flamelike, tulip-shaped spathe bears a resemblance to the university's seal -- giving it an advantage over the more traditional heart-shaped anthurium, she added.
"As it becomes more mature, the tulip shape becomes more elongated, and the green tinge will be more prominent," said Eric Panouye, of Green Point Nursery, the Big Island farm where the plant is grown.
After further study, the plant will be available in pots or as cut flowers to either botanist groups or for sale commercially, said research aide Lichty.
"It's a striking flower," Lichty added.
According to researchers, a typical Centennial anthurium yields about six flowers a year and is blight-resistant.
THE CENTENNIAL plant also inspired members of the Women's Campus Club, the second-oldest group on campus, which was organized in 1920.
Brigitte Campbell, retired faculty member and the club's vice president, suggested that the Centennial flower's image be printed on a set of stamps celebrating the school's 100th year. Public information officer and graphic designer Miles Hakoda assembled the stamp face. With the help of her husband, Bob, Campbell sold more than 900 sheets of stamps to students, faculty and their families.
"We wanted something that people would like to have and that would be appropriate, and it's (embodied through) that flower," said Campbell.