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A Day In Paradise

Onomea Falls

Onomea FallsThis spectacular three-tiered waterfall is often claimed to be the Most beautiful in Hawaii.

It was discovered far back in the jungle by Dan Lutkenhouse, years after work on the lower Garden began.

One day he decided to hack his way through the jungle alongside the stream, and much to his delight he found the magnificent waterfall.

Onomea Falls is set amidst the natural forest of palms and ferns. Exotic mosses grow on the surrounding rocks and trees. Small fish and prawns thrive in the clear, cool water.

Gazing at Onomea Falls from the viewing bridge, visitors are treated to an experience of unmatched natural beauty. There is a feeling of deep peace and serenity here, as well as a sense of the power and abundance of nature.

Heliconia Trail

HeliconiaAfter leaving the Palm Jungle, visitors wander along the spectacular Heliconia Trail where more than 80 different plant species grow. The Garden has one of the finest collections of heliconias in the United States. In this protected environment, heliconias grow more beautifully than in their native rainforest jungle. Colorful, striking flowerheads in a multitude of bizarre shapes and sizes arise from clumps of large, oval leaves. The plants range from 2 to 20 feet high.

Once classified with bananas, heliconias are now considered a separate family, Heliconaceae. The dramatic, colorful parts of the plant are not actually flowers,but rather highly modified leaves called bracts. The heliconia's inconspicuous true flowers are located inside the bracts.

HeliconiaThe best time to see heliconias in bloom is from May through August; however, various species can be viewed throughout the year. Among the most striking varieties is the hanging lobster claw-a cluster of glorious, vibrant red flowerheads tipped with green and yellow. Another species,Heliconia metallica, was brought to the Garden from Costa Rica shortly before the section of rainforest it came from was destroyed.

New species of heliconias are being discovered each year as botanists explore deeper in the jungle. The Garden constantly adds to its collection, and is recognized as one of the foremost centers for the cultivation and preservation of heliconias in the world. You can browse our entire Heliconia collection in our Plant Database

Banyan Canyon

Where Onomea Stream glides over another small waterfall, the cool, dark shade of Banyan Canyon beck- ons. Here a tall banyan tree clings to the wet rocks with a million roots. A species of fig, the banyan sends tiny roots down from its larger branches; these roots soon grow and form new tree trunks, large enough to provide additional support and nourishment. The roots dangle in the air and sweep the ground before taking hold in the soil.

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