"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. [National Tropical Botanical Garden]'s Conservation Program is based at this site and the Garden contains a state-of-the-art horticulture and micropropagation facility."
Extensive, interesting background information at the link.
How it works: You start at the visitor center, where there's a lovely tropical cottage garden to meander around in. Then you take a 15-minute shuttle ride to the botanic garden itself for a self-guided tour. Of course, the driver has a lot to say and it's all very interesting. With the price of admission, you get brochures and maps for three of the garden's primary sections: natives, spices, and palms. We arrived at mid-day and it was very hot, so we skipped the natives because it was all out in full sun. And, unfortunately, I managed to leave my brochures behind so I don't have as much information about some of these pictures as I would have if I'd retained them.
So, starting at the visitor center, where I did not get a picture of the lovely main entry and pond...it feels a lot like what I imagine it would feel like to walk around inside one of Rousseau's tropical paintings.
This is Dictyosperma album var. rubrum, Princess Palm.
"album var. rubrum"--WTF?
Varieties of Cordyline fruticosa are used extensively in Hawaiian landscapes.
This is not amaranth,
it's some Acalypha. Most of this genus come from the American tropics.
Reds and pinks are used a lot in tropical landscaping.
Which makes a cool blue that much more cooling.
And topiaries work very well for the usual reasons.
Although sometimes it was hard to grasp the shape they were going for.
I love vegetable and fruit gardens. Look at this luscious green garden path! Water shortages clearly not an issue here. In fact, Kauai's Mount Wai'ale'ale is one of the rainiest places on Earth. We didn't go there on this trip, but it's always been raining when we've visited on previous trips. (We like to make that trip because there's a lodge near the summit that serves an awesome coconut cream pie.)
I have to wrap with the bananas tonight, because I have to do some other stuff.
Come back for Part II, and we'll actually visit the McBryde Garden itself.