Here are some plants you will find in our Botanical Garden
Heliconia are native to the tropical Americas and the Pacific Ocean islands west to Indonesia. Heliconia varieties are beautiful flowers with multi-color bracts and varied flower structures and have over 400 varieties. They are also known as lobster-claw, parrot’s beak, wild plantain or false bird-of-paradise.
Gingers are one of the most beautiful and colorful flowers in the world of flowers. Botanically, Ginger is a rhizome of the perennial herb which is indigenous to the South west coast of India and the Malabar Coast of the state of Kerala. Gingers enjoy a special position in the botanical kingdom with their elegance in form, texture, sparkling color, and amazing symmetry and there are approximately 1,300 species of this very diverse family.
Orchids are one of the most exquisite and fascinating flowers in the world. Orchids are proliferated across most countries but are especially prolific in the tropics, where the majority of the species grow on the trunks and branches of trees.
Lotuses are aquatic perennials native to southern Asia and Australia and are found growing in shallow and murky waters. Lotus flowers enjoy warm sunlight and are intolerant to cold weather. The floating leaves and Lotus flowers have long stems, which contain air spaces to maintain the buoyancy. The Lotus symbolizes purity, beauty, majesty, grace, fertility, wealth, knowledge and serenity.
Hawaiian Hibiscus (Hibiscus Brackenridge) is the state flower of Hawaii. Hawaiian hibiscus is a popular ornamental flower which bear blooms almost every day, but the blossoms last only for a day even when on the bush.
Frangipani or Plumeria, also known as the Hawaiian Lei flower, is native to warm tropical areas of the Pacific Islands, Caribbean, South America and Mexico. Frangipani flowers have wonderful tropical essence. The flower is propeller shaped with a delicate yellow center melting into the creamy white outer petals or can be also found in shades of pink.
Monstera are herbs or evergreen vines, growing to heights of 20 m in trees, climbing by means of aerial roots which act as hooks over branches; these roots will also grow into the soil to help support the plant. The leaves are alternate, leathery, dark green, very large, from 25-90 cm long and 15-75 cm broad, often with holes in the leaf blade. The flowers are born on a specialized inflorescence called a spadix, 5-45 cm long; the fruit is a cluster of white berries, edible in some species.
Green Jade Vine (also called Blue Jade Vine) is a spectacular vine, native to the Philippines. The vine itself has a thick woody trunk, which branches out with leaves that are a waxy light green. The flowers of the Blue Jade are extremely vivid. Dropping from the vine itself, a stalk of flowers can reach over 5 feet in length and can have 50 to 100 flowers. Each flower is 2 to 4 inches, curved and very durable. The flowers are all a stunning blue-green and are often used in Leis.
Red Jade Vine is native to New Guinea and thrives in rainforests. The vine has a thick, woody trunk which has vivid orange-red flowers that are 3 to 4 inches long and curved and each stalk can have 50 to 100 flowers. Unlike Red Jades’ distant cousin, Green Jade Vine, the Red Jade flower is rarely used in making Leis because the flower has tiny little stiff hairs that can irritate the skin.
Autograph Tree gets its common name because of the leaves. Each leaf is fairly large, 5 to 8 inches, oval, thick and sturdy. You can scratch the leaf with a sharp object and it will remove the dark green outer layer and reveal a light green inner layer. People write messages, their name, love notes and other types of graffiti into the leaves. The messages stay as long as the leaf is attached to the tree, often months. The leaves have also been used in the past as playing cards. It has an apple sized green fruit and as the fruit dries, it opens at one end and disperses tiny red seeds. The fruit drops to the ground and turns into a hard star shape that is quite attractive.
Palapalai fern can be found growing in the shadier and wet areas of the Big Island. The ferns were used by ancient Hawaiians to decorate hula alters to Laka, the hula goddess. Today the ferns are a favorite to use for lei making and can appear alone or in combination with other flowers. The ferns grow from the ground and will have fully developed fronds as small as 6 to 8 inches long. They can grow up to 4 to 5 feet tall and usually feature only two or three fronds from a single point.
Uluhe begins growth as a shoot that comes straight out of the ground – with the fern tightly coiled at the shoots end. The shoot is about the thickness of a drinking straw. As the shoot grows the end uncoils and the fern leaves begin to appear. As the leaves mature they split into two sets of leaves, and from those another shoot can appear that will make another two sets of leaves. This can continue as the plant grows becoming almost vine like.
Hāpu’u is a very dense tree and are extremely heavy. It is not uncommon for a big tree to become so top heavy that it cracks at the base and falls over. Even though the roots are completely severed from the ground, the tree does not die. Instead, within a week or two, the branches will begin lifting upwards and new ferns will grow straight up from the now horizontal trunk. Cutting a hāpu’u into large segments can often result in each segment starting a new fern – they are very hearty plants.
Raphis Excelsa or Lady Palm is one of the more slow growing tropical palms as it takes many years to reach a 6-foot height, but the wait is well worth it. The elegant, dark green fronds with the serrated tips are born on wiry stems that emerge from a scruffy trunk that looks like it is partially wrapped in loose burlap. Raphis palms will also sprout new growth from its thickened, underground roots.
Bromeliads are exotic, tropical tree-dwellers are known for their long-lasting, colorful blooms. They will produce a flower spike from the central rosette. The flowers will last for several months. Once the flower head dies the leaves will start to die too, but they will be replaced by pups (offsets) at the base of the plant.
ACHMEA - Silver Vase
This is the most popular bromeliad. It has long grey/green powdery leaves with spines on the edges and produces a stunning pink flower that will last 6 months or more.
This variety has long green or variegated leaves (approximately 2 feet). They are known most for their striking flower head. They come is a variety of colors including red, orange, yellow, etc.
NEOREGELIA - Tricolor
This bromeliad is known more for its foliage than for its flower. It has shiny leaves 1 – 2 feet long. The leaves come in green, striped, or mottled and have many shades of hot pink, red, etc. The flower comes from the central vase although it does not shoot up above the leaves.
TILLANDSIA - Torch
A very interesting plant. It has grass-like leaves and produces a flower that is flat and torch shaped. Generally seen is red, yellow or pink.
Hawaiian Ti Tree grows in canes with green, maroon, or a combination of both colored foliage. Its appearance truly is exotic and can grow anywhere from 2 to 5 feet in height. It is also known as the Good Luck tree.
Spathiphyllum or Peace Lily grows from 1 foot tall to 6 feet tall and they have long dark green, shiny leaves that grow from the soil with white blooms.
Ilima is a low spreading shrub capable to attain the height of 4 feet. The plant bears tiny leaves in pale green color and produces pretty flowers on short stems in yellow, orange, red and brownish. The blooms have the diameter of nearly 1 inch and look like small hibiscus plant. The yellow Ilima flower is recognized as ‘the Flower of Oahu’ and it’s a popular flower to string into leis.
Kukui Nut Tree or Candlenut Tree is the state tree of Hawaii. Native to Southeast Asia, it was brought to the islands by the early Polynesian settlers. In Hawaii, the tree has a spiritual significance of hope and renewal, and was involved in many legends. As the most common of Hawaii’s forest trees, the kukui tree can grow up to 80 feet tall. Its light-colored leaves are covered with a silvery powder which helps to distinguish it, along with the twisted trunks and branches of the kukui tree. With the tree’s striking form, its eight-inch, maple-shaped leaves and its fragrant white flowers, the kukui tree remains a beautiful symbol of Hawaii.
Medinilla Magnifica is an erect shrub which can grow up to 8 ft tall and originates from the Philippines. Its stems may be ribbed or even winged and its rich glossy green leaves grow to about 12 inches long and have obvious paler veins. Its pink flowers are produced throughout spring and summer in long pendulous panicles up to 18 inches which are made even more obvious because of the large pink bracts attached to the flower clusters. Also known as the Pilipino Orchid Tree.
Hoya Plant of the family Asclepiadaceous is a member of the Milkweed family and has over 200 species of Hoya that is native to Eastern Asia and Australia. Clusters of attractive, star shaped, white to reddish-pink blossoms called umbels are produced from a climbing vine. Hoyas also have a wide variety of leaf shape and color. This plant is also called the wax plant.
Jacaranda Mimosifolia is a native to Brazil and Argentina and can reach 35-45 ft in height and about 20-30 ft in width. The tree will be totally smothered in lavender blue flowers when in bloom and is a spectacular sight.
Pencil Tree is a succulent tree that can grow up to 30 feet tall. It has pencil shaped stems, very small deciduous leaves and milky corrosive sap.
Crotons are colorful, glossy foliage plants and have a wide variation of leaf types. It is a native of the tropics from Java to Australia and the South Sea Islands. Crotons may attain a height of 8-10 feet, and tend to produce the heaviest foliage at the top of the plant.
Neem is a tree in the mahogany family Meliaceae. It is native to India, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Pakistan growing in tropical and semi-tropical regions. Neem is a fast growing tree and can reach heights of 65 – 115 feet tall. All parts of the tree (seeds, leaves, flowers and bark) are used for preparing many different medical preparations.
Products made from neem have proven medicinal properties, being anthelmintic, antifungal, antidiabetic, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fertility, and sedative. It is considered a major component in Ayurvedic medicine and is particularly prescribed for skin disease. Neem is also a source of environment-friendly biopesticides. The unique feature of neem products is that they do not directly kill the pests, but alter the life-processing behavior in such a manner that the insect can no longer feed, breed or undergo metamorphosis. It is also known as Margosa Tree, Divine Tree, Heal All and Nature’s Drugstore.
Sandalwood is the name of different fragrant woods. These woods are yielded by the tree Santalum and Santalaceae, which are often used for the essential oil it contains. They are found across India, Australia, Indonesia, and the Pacific Islands. These trees are heavy and yellow in color as well as fine-grained.
Sandalwood has been valued and treasured for many years for its fragrance, carving, medical and religious qualities. Sandalwood is considered in alternative medicine to bring one closer to the divine. Sandalwood essential oil, which is very expensive in its pure form, is used primarily for Ayurvedic purposes and treating anxiety. Sandalwood scent is believed to transform one’s desires and maintain a person’s alertness while in meditation.
Formosa Koa is a beautiful tree from the Philippines that is similar to the Hawaiian Koa tree. Its leaves are straighter and narrower. It can reach 50′ and produces flower heads that are bright yellow.
Naio or Myoporum Sandwicense is indigenous to Hawai’i and also occurs on Mangaia in the Cook Islands. It is found on all the main Hawaiian Islands except, Kaho’olawe. It occurs in a variety of habitats including in shoreline vegetation, a’a lava, and dry, moist, and wet forests. It is quite variable and ranges in habit from a many-branched shrub to a small tree and it generally grows to about 15 feet in height, but it can get up to 25 feet tall and 12 feet wide. It has dark gray, grooved bark with waxy green leaves which vary in shape from long and narrow to elliptic and can be anywhere from 1 1/2 to 8 inches in length. The 1/4 inch bell-shaped flowers are fragrant and they are arranged close to the stems and range in color from white to pink.
Aloe is a genus containing about four hundred species of flowering succulent plants. The most common and well known of these is Aloe Vera or “true aloe”. The genus is native to Africa, is common in South Africa‘s Cape Province, and in the mountains of tropical Africa. Most Aloe species have a rosette of large, thick, fleshy leaves. The leaves are often lance-shaped with a sharp apex and a spiny margin. Aloe flowers are tubular, frequently yellow, pink or red and are borne on densely clustered, simple or branched leafless stems. Aloe Vera is used both internally and externally on humans and is claimed to have some medicinal effects, which have been supported by scientific and medical research.
Taro is a tropical plant grown primarily as a vegetable food for its edible corm, and secondarily as a leaf vegetable. It is believed to be one of the earliest cultivated plants. Taro is closely related to Xanthosoma and Caladium, plants commonly grown as ornamentals, and like them it is sometimes loosely called elephant ear. In Hawaii, taro is a traditional staple, as in many tropical areas of the world, and is the base for making poi.
Bamboo is the fastest-growing plant on Earth; it has been measured surging skyward as fast as 47.6 inches in a 24-hour period and can also reach maximal growth rate exceeding 39 inches per hour for short periods of time. Many prehistoric bamboos exceeded heights of 250 feet. Unlike trees, all bamboos grow to full height and girth in a single growing season of 3–4 months. There are more than 1,000 species of bamboo and they are found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to hot tropical regions reaching their southernmost point anywhere, at 47°S latitude.
Agave chiefly Mexican, also occurs in the southern and western United States and in central and tropical South America. The plants have a large rosette of thick fleshy leaves, each ending generally in a sharp point and with a spiny margin; the stout stem is usually short, the leaves apparently springing from the root. Each rosette is monocarpic and grows slowly to flower only once. During flowering a tall stem grows from the center of the leaf rosette and bears a large number of shortly tubular flowers. After development of fruit the original plant dies, but suckers are frequently produced from the base of the stem which becomes new plants.
Brugmansia or Angel’s Trumpet are large shrubs or small trees with tan, slightly rough bark, large leaves with an entire or coarsely toothed margin, and are covered with fine hairs. The name Angel’s Trumpet refers to the large, very dramatic, pendulous trumpet-shaped flowers up to 20 inches long. They are white, yellow, pink, orange or red, and have a delicate, attractive scent with light, lemony overtones, most noticeable in early evening.
Jasminum Sambac or Pikake is the name Hawaiians give this beautiful and most fragrant flower of the world. It is widely used for leis, in perfumes and to flavor teas. Clusters of 1”creamy white flowers form tight clusters, each like a tiny rose and dark shiny green leaves cover the 3′ tall shrub.
Nerium Oleander is an evergreen shrub and is one of the most poisonous plants in the world. It grows well in warm, subtropical regions. It grows 2 – 10 ft tall, spreading to erect branches. The leaves are in pairs or whorls of three, thick and leathery, dark green and narrow. The flowers grow in clusters at the end of each branch; they are white, pink, red or yellow.
Mangoes consist of a numerous species of tropical fruiting trees which are indigenous to the Indian Subcontinent. Cultivated in many tropical regions and distributed widely in the world, mango is one of the most extensively exploited fruits for food, juice, flavor, fragrance, color and they account for approximately fifty percent of all tropical fruits produced worldwide.
Carica Papaya is native to the tropics of the Americas and was cultivated in Mexico. It is a large tree-like plant, the single stem growing from 15 to 30 feet tall, with spirally arranged leaves confined to the top of the trunk. The flowers appear on the axils of the leaves, maturing into the large 5- 10” long, 4 – 20” diameter fruit. It is the first fruit tree to have its genome deciphered.
Carambola or star fruit is a fruit from the species of tree native to Indonesia, India and Sri Lanka. The tree is cultivated also throughout the tropics such as in Trinidad, Guyana, and Brazil, and, in the United States, in south Florida, and Hawaii. Carambolas are best consumed when ripe, when they are yellow with a light shade of green. It will also have brown ridges at the five edges and feel firm. The fruit is entirely edible, including the slightly waxy skin. It is sweet without being overwhelming and extremely juicy. The taste is difficult to compare, but it has been likened to a mix of papaya, orange and grapefruit all at once.
Soursop is a broadleaf flowering evergreen tree native to Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean and northern South America. The flesh of the fruit consists of an edible white pulp and a core of indigestible black seeds. The sweet pulp is used to make juice as well as candies, sorbets, and ice cream flavorings. The fruit, seeds, and leaves have a number of herbal medicinal uses among indigenous peoples of regions where the plant is common.
Pineapple is the common name for the tropical bromeliad and its edible fruit. It is native to the southern part of Brazil and Paraguay. The pineapple was introduced to Hawaii in 1813 and exports of canned pineapples began in 1892. Large scale pineapple cultivation by U.S. companies began in the early 1900s on Hawaii. Among the most famous and influential pineapple industrialists was James Dole, who started a pineapple plantation in Hawaii in 1900. The companies Dole and Del Monte began growing pineapple on the island of Oahu in 1901 and 1917, respectively, but both companies now have moved their pineapple production to Costa Rica.
Lychee is a tropical fruit tree primarily found in China, India, Madagascar, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, >Taiwan, northern Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Southern Africa and Mexico. It is a fragranced fruit with a sweet taste. Lychee grow on a medium-sized evergreen tree, reaching up to 60 feet tall, with alternate leaves and the flowers are small, greenish-white produced in panicles up to 12” long. The fruit’s outside is covered by a pink-red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed. The inside consists of a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh, rich in vitamin C, with a texture somewhat similar to that of a grape only much less moist.
Macadamia Nut Trees are small to large evergreen trees growing up to 40 feet tall. The leaves are arranged in whorls of three to six, with an entire or spiny-serrated margin. The flowers are produced in a long slender simple raceme 5 – 11” long and the individual flowers are white and very sweet smelling. The fruit is a very hard woody globose follicle with a pointed apex, containing one or two seeds. Macadamias are highly nutritious nuts having the highest amount of beneficial monounsaturated fats of any known nut.
Citrus is a common term and genus of flowering plants in the family Rutaceae, originating in tropical and subtropical southeast regions of the world. Cultivated Citrus may be derived from as few as four ancestral species, oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes. All of these varieties are found at Paleaku.