Thursday, March 31, 2016

National Tropical Botanical Garden-Limahuli Garden & Preserve: Kauai, Hawaii

Limahuli Garden, Kauai
Today's garden tour travels beyond the Northeast. The Limahuli Garden and Preserve, located at the beginning of the Na Pali Coast on the north shore of Kauai in the Pacific west, has been named as the best natural botanical garden in the United States by the American Horticultural Society. The gardens are known to be the home of 250 taxa of rare and endangered native plants and birds (50 of which are on the verge of extinction), that are protected and maintained by the National Tropical Botanical Garden, an organization recognized for its outstanding involvement in the preservation of Hawaii's native flora.
Limahuli Garden, Kauai

Aloha! Limahuli Garden, Kauai
Aloha and welcome to a virtual tour of the Limahuli Garden!
Limahuli Garden, Kauai
Entering the gardens, these ancient lava rock terraces are the archaeological remains of a large agricultural complex where Polynesians grew food for their communities.  The plants grown here are referred to "canoe plants", as many of them were brought over by early Polynesians as they voyaged across the Pacific to the islands by canoe.   
Traditional Hawaiian Hale House Limahuli Garden, Kauai
 The ancient Hawaiians constructed hale houses of tropical resources which were  highly abundant; hence, respecting and protecting the forest community of the Limahuli valley.  
Limahuli Garden, Kauai

Hawaiian Ti Plant (Cordyline fruticosa) in Plantation Era Garden Limahuli Garden, Kauai
The smooth, waxy leaves of this familiar Polynesian plant served many purposes, including wrapping food for cooking or storing, thatch for houses, and as a material for rain capes and sandals. Ti was considered sacred by the early Hawaiians and was an emblem of high rank and divine power. It was worn as protection against evil spirits and was important in ancient ceremonial rituals.
Limahuli Garden, Kauai

Hibiscus arnottianus Limahuli Garden, Kauai
Hibiscus is referred to as pua aloalo in the Hawaiian language and are seen growing all over the island. Many were brought here as ornamentals but the arnottianus variety are endemic to the islands.
Tropical Hibiscus Limahuli Garden, Kauai

Ravenala madagascariensis (Traveller's Tree,Traveller's Palm or Peacock Fan Palm) Limahuli Garden, Kauai
This large fan-like tree is not a true palm but rather a member of the flowering plant family Strelitziaceae. The flower it forms in the center very much resembles the Bird of Paradise, as seen below.
Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) Limahuli Garden, Kauai
The beautiful and unusual Bird of Paradise (Strelitzia reginae) came to Hawaii in the 19th century as an ornamental and continues to be an admired plant by many. It's striking colors and appearance of blooms resembling a bird's beak and feathers is intriguing.
Bromeliad Limahuli Garden, Kauai

Plantation Era Garden Limahuli Garden, Kauai
The Plantation Era Garden is the home to pineapple. mango, papaya, fragrant plumeria, gardenia, colorful orchids, Bird of Paradise, ginger and heliconia.  These plants are not indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands, but were brought over from other locations less than 200 years ago. The enormous changes to the culture and ecology of Hawaii started in the mid-1800s after Captain Cook anchored off the islands in 1778. During the Plantation Period the local Hawaiian culture emerged, mixing old traditions with the customs of new immigrants.
Rainforest Life Limahuli Garden, Kauai

Monstera deliciosa (Swiss Cheese Plant) Limahuli Garden, Kauai

Aerial Roots Hala (Pandanus tectorius) Limahuli Garden, Kauai
Hala is a native plant of Hawaii that was used by early Polynesians for weaving into mats, baskets, flooring and pillows and also for the sails for canoes. These trees grow to a height of approximately twenty feet and produce thick aerial roots that spread into the ground.
Limahuli Garden, Kauai

Limahuli Garden, Kauai
Through habit loss and the competition of invasive species, Hawaii has lost many of its native species, but along the trails in the Limahuli Garden, remaining native species have been preserved and saved from possible extinction.
Alula (Brighamia insignis) Endangered Species
This Alula is an endangered species that is native to Kauai and extinct in other parts of the world.  Alula suffered a serious decline in population from Hurricane Iniki  in 1992,  which destroyed half the natural population, leaving only one remaining growing in the wild. The National Tropical Botanical Garden has made an increased effort in protecting and growing this endangered plant, saving it from extinction. An even greater treat is to experience one of these rare and unusual plants in bloom, which makes it even more amazing!
Awapuhi Shampoo Ginger (Zingiber zerumbet)
This Polynesian introduction was the dominant ground cover in the Limahuli forest.  The ancient Hawaiians used "awapuhi" for shampoo, medicine and to scent kapa fabric, which was made from the fibers of certain trees and shrubs. The plants we encountered were approximately four feet in height with unusual white blooms that emerge from large cone-shaped bracts.
(Crinum augustum) Queen Emma or Spider Lily

Bread Fruit, Ulu (Artocarpus altilis)
Breadfruit or Ulu, as it is named in Hawaiian, was one of the few life-sustaining plants the Polynesians brought with them when they sailed to the Hawaiian Islands.The fruit and seeds of all three species are edible and very nutritious filled with vitamin B, calcium and complex carbohydrates. Ulu is known as the "tree of bread" in Hawaii.
Araucaria columnaris (Cook Pine) Limahuli Garden and Preserve Whale Trail
This trail extends along the northern coast line of Kauai and overlooks the Pacific Ocean below where endangered Humpback whales migrate to Hawaii from the North Pacific every winter to give birth to their young. The tall narrow pines are known as "Cook Pines", named after Captain James Cook. They were first classified by botanists during Cook's second voyage in the late 1700's. 
Bali Hai,  Limahuli Garden and Preserve
Almost magical, Bali Hai, also known as the Makana Mountain, can be found in the Limahuli Gardens. The name for this peak means reward or “gift from heaven” in the Hawaiian language. The movie South Pacific released in 1960 featured this mountain as a forbidden but exotic island called Bali Hai. From that time on, the name “Bali Hai” has stayed with this special place, and if you use your imagination...maybe just maybe you can hear the gentle breezes coming from the mountain as if it is calling to you...as the legend implies.
Limahuli Garden and Preserve
Limahuli Gardens are truly a wonderful and magical place in which the flora, fauna and culture of the Hawaiian islands is nurtured and preserved. I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour out of the northeast to the gardens of the west Pacific. 

For further information visit Limahuli Gardens and Preserve.

Aloha. 

As Always...Happy Gardening!


Author: Lee@A Guide To Northeastern Gardening, Copyright 2016. All rights reserved.



22 comments:

  1. Oh my goodness...it really is a tropical paradise!

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed the tour Donna. Kauai is truly magical!

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  2. Oh yes, the Garden Island.

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    1. It certainly is Tom. The island of Kauai is full of lush rain forests and tropical blooms everywhere...a gardener's dream.

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  3. Hawaii is on my husband's bucket list. After taking this stunning tour with you, Lee, I've added it to mine. P. x

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    1. Limahuli and the other botanical gardens on Kauai are all fabulous for the gardener at heart, or just about anyone else who appreciates nature. I will be posting on MyBryde Gardens on the island of Kauai as well.

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  4. This was a joy for me to see. We were there in January and it was my all time favorite garden and it was wonderful to see now familiar places through your camera lens. Thank you for the great memories this brought back to me from our trip to Limahuli.

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    1. I am glad this virtual visit brought back fond memories for you. I think Kauai is my favorite place on earth...besides home!

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  5. I am back again to thank you for linking with Today's Flowers, so very happy you did that and I appreciate your support :) Wishing you a very happy Sunday.

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  6. How gorgeous! We have a lot of tropical plants here in Florida but nothing like this here in central Fl. You took amazing photos!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed Diane! The blooms really are unusual, which makes them so amazing. I can never get enough!

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  7. What a wonderful place! I would love to visit there, so thank you for this virtual tour. It's just what I needed on a stormy Monday lunch time!

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    1. You are very welcome Sarah! It's been rainy here too so I keep looking at flower photos as well! I am glad you visited as I just went onto your blog and subscribed!

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  8. Lee, watching your photos I'm able to feel hot air and light wind, blue sky and smell of sea, wow! I'd love to be there with you instead of cold spring here.
    Enjoy your stay!

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    1. Thanks Nadezda. We visited some time ago and I just got to writing this post, but when I think of Kauai I can still imagine being there...which always makes me smile!

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  9. Marvellous shots, make me want to pack my bags and go there...
    Many thanks for participating in the Floral Friday Foto meme, I hope to see your entry in this week's edition also!

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    1. Thank you for visiting Nick and I am glad you enjoyed the photos of Limahuli Garden. Also, thank you for hosting Floral Friday. Have a great week!

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  10. I visited this garden many years ago and still remember the wonder I felt at the beautiful views and exotic flowers. Thanks for the post and for bringing back good memories!

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Thank you for visiting. I love reading your comments and knowing you have been here, and will try to reciprocate on your blog. If you have any questions I will try my very best to answer them. As always...HAPPY GARDENING!

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