Botanical Oahu

Paul and Lorna obliged our curiosity about the island’s botanical gardens and reserves.  We saw several of them, the Foster Botanical Garden in central Honolulu, the Lyon Arboretum on University of Hawaii land in the upper Manoa valley, and Ho’omaluhia Botanical Garden, on the windward side, in Kaneohe.

Getting out on the land to see what grows, and what someone wanted to plant so others could see it – it tells you something about a place.  You feel the land in the ground beneath your feet, in the fragrance of the breeze, in your legs as you trudge up a hill.

Because this is Hawaii, a whole lot of the plants you see are non-native, and this was definitely true at Foster Botanical Garden.  Breadfruit is one that is sort of native, at least to other islands of Polynesia.


Breadfruit at Foster Botanical Garden

I recall from botany course many years ago that buttress roots make shallow rooted tropical trees less likely to get blown over in a windstorm.  Central American Ceiba species have some of the largest.


Japanese visitors pose among the buttress roots of a Ceiba tree


Paul with a fruit of the sausage tree, an African begonia.  They can get heavy enough that you don’t really want one to fall on you.


The tropical America cannonball tree also has lethal fruit.  There is a sign at the garden warning visitors to “watch out”.


Strange trunk of the African Baobab tree, looking a little like an elephant’s foot

Below, Paul tosses a silk cotton pod into the air to show how it disperses its seeds.


More on botanical Hawaii in a future post.


One response to “Botanical Oahu

  1. Yolanda Perez

    Los Boabab me recuerda al cuento de El Principito.
    Recuerdo también un gran árbol que vimos en un recorrido en La Colonia Tocar.

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