Garden Tour...
About the Garden Tour
A printed brochure of this tour guide is provided to you upon admission to our gardens. While on the self-guided tour please follow these few rules. Please stay on sidewalks and gravel trails. You may walk on the grass lawns, but do not walk on any ground covers or bare ground. Some plants are dormant during certain times of the year and you may step on emerging plants without realizing it and some may have thorns or other irritants. Please do not pick any flowers, seeds, or fruits. Please watch your children. Don't let them run around, yell or play in the garden. If you notice a wedding in progress please be respectful and give them their space. They don't usually last long and you can always return to the area after they have moved on. Be cautious during wet weather as SIDEWALKS WILL BE SLIPPERY!
• While walking around you will see tropical plants from all parts of the world including Hawaii. Some of the highlights are:
There are over 3,000 different species of palms from all parts of the world. From lush tropical jungles to arid deserts and even snow capped peaks of the Himalayas, they come in all sizes and shapes. Besides their ornamental appeal they are a very important source of food, fiber, oil, wine, and building material. Their by-products are a major source of income in many countries. We have about 300 species in our collection.
Orchids are the largest group of flowering plants in the world, and still one of the least known. There are between 20,000 and 30,000 known species and 750 genera. They come from just about all parts of the world both tropical and temperate. Most of the orchids in our garden are epiphytes (air plants) and they can be found growing in the trees just as they do in nature. The time of year you are visiting determines what ones you will see in bloom, as they all have their own season.
Mainly from South & Central America, there are over 100 species and many hybrids. Ranging from just a couple feet to over 20 ft. in height they are related to bananas. The actual flowers are insignificant but the colorful bracts are very spectacular and grow either upright or hanging and come in many colors.
There are over 1300 species of ginger from around the world, mostly Tropical Asia. Many are important sources food, fiber, dyes, and other useful products. The most common ginger used in cooking is typical of the family but has no ornamental value. Some can be found growing wild in Hawaiian forests like the fragrant white, yellow and shampoo gingers.
Endemic Hawaiian Plants
These are plants that have originated in Hawaii and have not been introduced by man and can be found nowhere else naturally in the world. Many "native" plants such as Coconut, Taro, Kukui Nut, Ti, and Awa were brought here by the first Polynesians as "Canoe Plants", and are not endemic to the islands. These were plants they needed to survive and were important culturally. Today most of the endemic Hawaiian plants are endangered and are very rare in the wild. Although most aren't known for their ornamental value, many are very important medicinally or have other uses. Our Hawaiian Garden has many of these plants.
• For more highlights look for the corresponding numbered signs to the following.
1. Hibiscus hybrids
There are thousands of hybrids of these beautiful flowers around today. Most are produced from Hib. rosa-sinensis, but even native Hawaiian species have been used to produce new hybrids.
2. Geometry Tree
(Bucida buceras) From South Florida to the West Indies this tree got it's common name because of the way the branches grow at angles.
3. Pelagodoxa henryana
One of the rarest palms in the world. It comes from a single population in the Marquesas, an isolated group of islands in the Pacific. The large seeds once sold for $100 each.
4. Torch Ginger
One of the largest ginger plants. They can reach over 20 feet in nature and send out large blooms from the base of the rhizome. They are very popular for florists. In some cultures the rhizome is used in cooking.
5. Bromeliads/ Pineapple
There are 59 different genera with over 1400 species. They come from South and Central America. Most of them are epiphytes (air plants) and can be found growing in the trees in nature. The most famous member of the bromeliad family is the Pineapple, which was once a major crop in Hawaii.
6. Carpoxylon macrospermum
A very rare palm. This was thought to be extinct and was only rediscovered in the early 1980s on Vanuatu in New Hebrides.
7. Betel Nut Palm
(Areca catechu) A beautiful palm grown in many countries for its ornamental value, but it is most famous for the narcotic properties of the prepared fruit, which has created a $30 million+ industry and a lot of swollen gums.
8. Lychee Tree
(Litchi chinensis) First brought to Hawaii in 1873 from Southern China, it produces one of the most popular fruits in Hawaii but it can have an irritating habit of not producing fruit every year.
9. Terete Vanda
Growing on the tall Carpentaria palm is the Vanda Miss Joaquim. Like Vanilla it is a climbing orchid like a vine. The blooms of Miss Joaquim are a widely used flower for lei making in Hawaii.
10. Hong Kong Orchid Tree
A member of the Bauhinia family. This tree is a widely grown ornamental tree in tropical landscapes. It is a hybrid and must be propagated by air layer since it will not produce seed.
11. Saraca Tree
(Saraca taipingensis) A tropical tree from Malaysia, blooms with big clusters of orange flowers along its trunk and branches.
12. Giant Pua Kenikeni
(Fagraea berteriana) This small S. Pacific tree's Hawaiian name means "ten cent flower" since its fragrant flowers are popular in lei making. This giant form of the tree has flowers twice the normal size.
13. Sausage Tree
(Kigelia pinnata) This West African tree is grown for its odd-looking inedible fruit. In Africa some parts are used medicinally. Also called "Dead Rat Tree". It gets the common names from the way the seed pods hang from the tree.
• You are now crossing Iao Stream, which flows from Iao Valley to the ocean Iao Valley was the site of one of Hawaii's fiercest battles. King Kamehameha's forces fought Maui's warriors and Chief Kalanikupuli, in the war to unify the Hawaiian Islands. The highest peak at the back of the valley is Puu Kukui at 5,788 feet and is one of the wettest spots in the world.
14. Rainbow Shower Tree
Another spectacular flowering tree. Again, a hybrid that produces no seed. It is in full bloom throughout the summer and fall.
15. Giant Orchid
(Grammatophyllum speciosum) The largest orchid in the world comes from Malaysia. The flower spikes can reach 10 ft. high and have hundreds of yellow and mahogany 5" flowers in late summer.
16. Oil Palm
(Elaeis Guineensis) Next to the Coconut, this West African Palm is one of the most economically important palms in the world. It is grown on huge plantations in the tropics for its high-quality oil.
17. Red Jade Vine
Growing in the Schfellera Tree. (Mucuna Bennetti) A spectacular vine from New Guinea that produces masses of brilliant red flowers in 4-foot bunches that hang down under the foliage.
18. Coconut Palm
The Coconut has been cultivated for thousands of years and has been distributed so widely its origin is not really known but is thought to have come from the western Pacific islands. Besides its famous fruit it is an excellent source of oil, thatch, and building material.
19. Dryland Plants
This terrace consists of plants that come from the dryer tropics and deserts. Mostly Pachypodiums, cactus and other other succulents. Cactus are a uniquely American plant and Pachypodiums come from Madagascar and Africa. They both have thorns, but Pachypodiums have leaves like other plants and are related to the plumeria.
20. Pritchardia remota
Hawaiian Loulu palm. This endangered Hawaiian palm is from Nihoa, the northernmost of the main Hawaiian Islands. There are approx. 30 species of Loulu in the islands and many are endangered.
21. Ylang Ylang Tree
(Cananga odorata) This tree is grown throughout the tropics for its very fragrant blooms. Much of the distilled oil is sent to France and is said to be the basis for Chanel No. 5 and perfumes by Guerlain.
22. Taro Patches
Called Kalo in Hawaii, this is a Hawaiian staple. All parts of the plant are edible. The leaves, stem, and flowers are cooked. The corm is cooked and eaten like a potato or pounded and made into poi. Kalo is either grown dryland style or in a flooded patch, called loi. Each loi is harvested about once a year.
23. Typhonodorum lindleyanum
A giant aquatic aroid from Africa and Madagascar. They can get over 10 ft. tall. In some places the seeds are ground into a flour and used for cooking. Like Kalo, the tuber is said to be edible too.
24. Corypha umbraculifera
(Talipot Palm) One of the largest palms in the world and the largest with the fan type leaves. It comes from India and Sri Lanka. It is very slow growing. This one was planted in 1995 and is still a juvenile. It will live 70 to 80 years, flower once, and die.
25. Amherstia nobilis
Considered by many to be the most beautiful flowering tree in the world. The long inflorescence hang beneath the branches with bright pink and crimson flowers. It comes from Burma where it's endangered.
26. La'amia
Calabash Tree. This small tree from Mexico is grown for the gourd fruit that hangs from the branches. These hard shelled fruit are not edible but are used for making Hula implements, masks and other ceremonial items.
27. Hawaiian Garden (Being replanted 2009)
This section of the garden is planted with some of the plants that are endemic to the islands. A few of the highlights are the Wili Wili Tree from the dryer sides of the main islands. It drops its leaves in the dry summer months and blooms with clusters of chartreuse, orange, peach, or red flowers from the bare branches. Nau, The very rare Hawaiian gardenia. This variety comes from Lanai where there only two small trees left in the wild. Ili'ahi the famous Sandalwood tree, which was Hawaii's main export 200 years ago, once could be found throughout Hawaii but is now rare in the wild. Koki'o ula'ula (Hibiscus kokio) One of the beautiful native hibiscus. This endemic red hibiscus species is native to Iao Valley.
28. Noni
(Morinda citrifolia) is well known throughout the world for its medicinal properties and the foul-smelling fruit. We have the green and the rare variegated varieties. It is native to southeastern Asia.
• The following plants can be found on your return to the building
29. Caryota gigas
The Mountain Giant is the largest of the Caryota (Fish Tail palms) It comes from the foothills of the Himalayas.
30. Raffia Palm
(Raphia farinifera) is the main source of raphia, which comes from the leaf bases. It has the longest leaves in the plant kingdom. Mature fronds can reach 60 ft. It is native to East Africa and Madagascar.
31. Awa
Also know as Kava kava. This is one of the original canoe plants brought to Hawaii. A ceremonial drink is made from the roots. This is one of the more potent varieties called Moi.
32. Wanga Palm
(Pigafetta filaris) From Sulawesi & New Guinea. It is one of the fastest growing palms in the world. In 1987 this palm was still a seed, and will eventually grow to 150 ft. in height.
33. Yellow Christmas Palm
An unusual yellow form of the Manila palm from Thailand. Unlike the regular variety with the huge bunches of bight red fruit it is rare that it will make seed.

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