Monday, December 2, 2013

A visit to the McBryde Garden

While we were in Kauai we got quite a bit of rain, so we didn't get to hit as many gardens as we wanted. One that we were able to visit was the McBryde Garden, one of five National Tropical Botanical Gardens
"The National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) is a not-for-profit institution, dedicated to discovering, saving, and studying the world's tropical plants and to sharing what is learned." 
The National Tropical Botanical Gardens have plants that are found nowhere else in the world. We previously visited the Kahanu Garden on Maui, one of the NTBGs.

The McBryde Garden:
". . . has become a veritable botanical ark of tropical flora. It is home to the largest ex situ collection of native Hawaiian flora in existence, extensive plantings of palms, flowering trees, Rubiaceae, heliconias, orchids, and many other plants that have been wild-collected from the tropical regions of the world. NTBG's Conservation Program is based at this site and the Garden contains a state-of-the-art horticulture and micropropagation facility."
It's huge and it's beautiful. My only complaint was that signage wasn't always perfect, so some plants weren't labeled. Let's hit it.

Sugar cane (Saccharum officinarum)

Ricinus communis is found all over Kauai. It escaped cultivation but has not yet been labeled a noxious weed.

I love the canopy of this tree.

Ruffle palm, Aiphanes minima

These palms weren't labeled but I think they are cabbage palms, Clinostigma savoryanum, and they had the most beautiful blue trunks.

This was one of my favorite plants, sadly unlabeled.

The enormous glossy leaves had the coolest striations in them.

Pittosporum halophilum


Geckos were everywhere
St. Thomas Bean (Entada phaseoloides)
This enormous vine was completely entwined in a monkeypod tree.

The McBryde Garden has an extensive spice garden, which includes a collection of coffee trees.

Coffea arabica

Areca palm (Dypsis lutescens)

I've tried finding an areca palm because it's one of the best houseplants for cleaning indoor air.

Chao muang trang palm (Licuala peltata var. sumawongii)

I want one of these. I want to take naps and have picnics under it.

Portlandia platantha, a gorgeous member of the coffee family

Indian shot (Canna tuerckheimii)

This was one of my very favorites, Ficus dammaropsis.

The enormous leaves had the most wonderful texture.

And those blooms! The purple veining! Oh my god.

I hope these pictures don't make the impending sn*w they are predicting for the Portland area any worse. I know I wish I was still in Kauai. Maybe with a maitai.


  1. The place looks like paradise!

  2. I wish I was in Hawaii too. Thanks for these photos, I loved them! So
    nice to see them all growing in the ground when we normally only see
    plants like this in a conservatory.

  3. What a glorious slice of paradise you've shared! Wonder what it would be like to live there. Would you get tired of things looking so gorgeous all the time?

  4. It's been MUCH too long since I've visited Kauai. My husband and I used to dream about moving there - alas, not practical. Thanks for sharing your visit.

  5. We talk about moving to Hawaii all the time. Would we get bored? How long would we want to be there? Sadly, all the jobs seem to be on Oahu.

  6. I wonder that all the time. I was thinking about how much I'd miss fall color and tulips but I'm sure swimming in the ocean every day would make up for it. :)

  7. It's a little slice of heaven on earth!

  8. I'm telling you, we need to have a Fling in Hawaii. So many good gardens.

  9. My favorite part of this post? The fact you wrote "we didn't get to hit as many gardens as we wanted"... would Greg agree with the "we?"