Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A visit to the Limahuli Garden

Toward the end of our trip we headed to the north end of the island and took the highway as far as it goes, to one end of the Na Pali Coast. The Limahuli Valley was one of the first inhabited areas of the Hawaiian islands and it has been established as a National Tropical Botanical Garden (other gardens I've toured include McBryde and Kahanu).

"Set in a narrow valley framed by soaring cliffs, Limahuli Garden and Preserve evokes the history of Kaua`i, and of the Hawaiian Islands. Born of volcanoes and isolated by thousands of miles of ocean from the rest of the world, those few species of plants, animals, and insects that arrived on these remote and barren shores had millions of years to evolve into unique forms found nowhere else on Earth." [Source]

The terraces at Limahuli Garden were built 700 years ago and incorporate canals that carefully divert water from a stream to water the crops of taro grown here.

Hawaiian kava (Piper methysticum)
Song of India (Dracaena reflexa)
Indian mulberry (Morinda citrifolia)
Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

This is my color! I love it!

Dwarf poinciana (Caesalpinia pulcherrima)
Croton (Codiaeum variegatum)
Unlabeled, I think it's a Pandanus

Ornamental ti (Cordyline fructicosa)
Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa)
Cape plumbago (Plumbago auriculata)
Sweet sop, custard apple (Annona squamosa)
Laua'e (Microsorum grossum)

Makou, a celery relative that is endemic to the Hawaiian islands (Peucedanum sandwicense)

Soil not necessary
Hau (Rauvolfia sandwicensis)
Rasp fern (Sadleria cyatheoides)
I'i (Dryopteris fusco-atra)
Palapalai (Microlepia strigosa)
Hawane, endemic to Kauai (Pritchardia limahuliensis)
Akia (Wikstroemia uva-ursi)

Strawberry guava (Psidium cattleianum), pretty but invasive

Pandanus tectorius (I think)
Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)

Dwarf 'iliau (Wilkesia hobdyi)

The finest sign ever.
Brighamia insignis (endemic)

If you're ever on Kauai I really recommend this garden. It's beautiful and it's stuffed with incredibly rare plants that you won't see anywhere else in the world.

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.