Calvin’s Mamaki Tree ~ One month later

Mamaki is native to no other
place in the world but Hawai‘i, and is best known for its refreshing
herbal tea and medicinal uses. Leaves can be eaten raw or cooked, and
the mamaki bark was used by the Hawaiians of old to make Kapa (cloth).


I brought home a mamaki seedling in the beginning of May, telling of the story connected to it over at Managing with Aloha Coaching.

…Max explained about a hundred seedlings he had brought for us to
take home, one by anyone with space to plant them, for they would
indeed become trees. He explained the difference between four different
types, each for a different climate and elevation, each with a story of
how the Hawaiians had used them and honored them.

These were facts we
were all certain Calvin would have known of too— and then some. It
would be a legacy that Calvin would have wanted, to simply have trees
that will continue to grow with his belief that they are good for us.

I was awestruck in that moment.

“To just have trees continue to grow.”

Legacy enough for a man who within all his justifiably proud
knowledge had remained as humble as a man can get. Though man can
sometimes help, trees grow because of God and because of Mother Nature,
and because of the life stored within them. Ultimately that is what
Calvin really knew, and he was fine with that. Calvin lived serving
them all; God, Mother Nature, and that plant, and through them, all of

Calvin lived within a degree of humility that I may never be able to achieve.

The Koaia was another of the trees Max told us about, and it is quite rare. This is the only one I have seen growing in Waikōloa; I would have never noticed it without hearing the reverence Max had for it!
Click for a larger view.

The full story is at MWAC: Calvin’s Mamaki Tree

Hiki nō: What I Can Do to remind myself of the lessons in humility I still have to learn, is to take the very best care of that mamaki tree! It will remind me gently, and beautifully, every time I step into my garden.

One month later, I am very pleased to share a few photos of how my mamaki is doing. These were taken yesterday afternoon:


New shoots along the main stem, telling me the roots are happy! The other green leaves are of the cilantro (Chinese parsley) I have also seeded in the same large pot… they seem to give the mamaki seedling tree-trunk-to-be a fairly effective wind-break of sorts for now, and they seem keep leaf-chomping bugs away too.


Seem to…seem to
… a gardener I am not!
I prefer to think that Calvin is helping me somehow :)


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  1. says

    You give me hope that I might be able to grow such a healthy sproutling Rosa! I’m really hankering for some of that mamaki tea you mentioned now. Any suggestions on where/who to buy?

  2. Rosa Say says

    I’d love to dry some and package it up for you Cody, but I don’t think I’m that far with this little guy yet :)
    Here is where you can buy it online for now:
    I’m beginning to get a craving for it too…

  3. says

    I just discovered your blog today and was struck by your use of the seedlings-saplings. I am working on a new brochure for my own coaching practice at the moment, and the imagery I discovered for myself in relationship to the message I have is so very similar!
    Good luck and all the best!

  4. Rosa Say says

    Aloha Trina, welcome to Talking Story and thank you for your comment. I just visited your site for a little bit, and you have filled it with terrific resources: I am sure your brochure will be equally valuable. Do come back and update us if an online version is made available ~ would love to see that imagery you present!

  5. says

    Hello Rosa,
    I just happened to find your comment while wandering back over to your site. Yes, in the meantime the brochure is online. It can be found in my download center, which can be accessed via a tab at the top of the page.
    All the best!
    Trina Roach