Big Tree: Māmane

Big Tree: Māmane


Common Name: Mamane

Scientific Name: Sophora chrysophylla 

Year Nominated: 2015

Nominated by: Joe Kern

Height: 24 ft

Circumference: 295.16 in

Crown Spread: 45 ft

Total Points: 330

Location: Mauna Kea Forest Reserve, Hawai’i 

Range: This species is endemic to Hawaii and can be found growing within dry shrubland and in mesic and wet forests at elevations between 1,400 and 10,000 feet. Most commonly, Māmane can be found in the subalpine areas of east Maui and Hawaii.

About this species: Māmane plant parts are a main food source for an endangered honeycreeper on Hawaii island, the Palila (Loxiodes balleui). This species is fire tolerant, though it is not adapted to grazing by feral goats and sheep. Wood and flowers of the Māmane tree were used in many facets of early Hawaiian life. Flowers were used medicinally as an astringent and to make lei, while wood was used to construct houses, farm spades, scraping boards, and firewood. Māmane wood was also used to fashion sleds in a sport for aristocrats called hōlua. Competitors would get a running start then jump on the sled headed downhill. The person who gained the greatest distance was crowned the winner.


View another Hawai‘i Big Tree Champion:

Aalii || Hau || Kāwaʻu || Koa || Kokiʻo Keʻokeʻo || Kōlea lau nui || Lama || Lonomea || Māmane || Mānele || Maʻo hau hele || Neneleau || Niu || ‘Ōhi‘a ai || ‘Ōhi‘a ha || Olopua || Pāpala kēpau || Wiliwili