Author Archives: Leslie Lang

Lily Lake Reopens!

Down at the heart of Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden – past the 500-foot boardwalk that leads you into the valley, and beyond Palm Jungle, the Heliconia and Torch Ginger Trails, an amazing orchid garden, and the Founders Birdhouse – stands … Continue reading

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Hawaii and its Medicinal Plants

How did Hawaiians take care of their health before Westerners first arrived in the Hawaiian Islands with the medical treatments we are all now so accustomed to? Quite well, actually. It’s interesting to note that traditional Hawaiian health care includes … Continue reading

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Appreciating Hawaii’s Marine Life

There is an amazing coral reef ecosystem that surrounds the Hawaiian islands. It supports 25 percent of all the known marine species, which includes fish, plants, and invertebrates. Did you know that coral reefs are not plants but are made up of … Continue reading

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Coconut and Other Palm Trees

Of all the types of palm trees, many people here in Hawai‘i are most familiar with the coconut palm, Cocos nucifera. It’s the tree that says, “tropics.” But there’s so much more to the coconut palm. Its fruit, the niu or coconut, … Continue reading

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All About Orchids

Did you know there are more than 30,000 orchid species, and at least 200,000 hybrids? Orchids, which are of the family Orchidaceae, thrive in environments from the arctic tundra to the equatorial tropics. But the largest numbers are found in the … Continue reading

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‘Earth Overshoot Day’ is Earlier Than Ever in 2019

We are using our ecological resources 1.75 times faster than the planet can regenerate them, according to the Global Footprint Network. That international nonprofit organization has been calculating “Earth Overshoot Day,” the date at which we start consuming natural resources … Continue reading

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How Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden Observes World Nature Conservation Day

Today is World Nature Conservation Day. While it’s great to have a day calling attention to Earth’s natural resources, we should all be doing whatever we can year-round, too, to increase awareness of nature conservation and ensure the long-term protection … Continue reading

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Tropical Hawaiian Flowers: the Heliconia Plant

When you visit Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, you’ll notice the showy, brilliantly colored flowers called heliconia. Heliconia are exotic and dramatic, and they scream TROPICS! The Garden has an excellent collection of species and hybrid heliconia and you’ll see them … Continue reading

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Polynesian Canoe Plants, Including Breadfruit, Taro, and Coconut: the Ultimate in Sustainability Planning

Do you know about “canoe plants?” These are the plants—such as kalo (taro), ‘ulu (breadfruit), and niu (coconut), among others—that  Polynesians brought in their carefully-stocked voyaging canoes perhaps 1,600 years ago when they first settled in Hawai‘i. Canoe plants are one more piece … Continue reading

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History of Kahalii and Onomea Bay: The Legend of Twin Rocks

Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden sits in a valley that extends from the four-mile “scenic drive” off Highway 19 all the way down to beautiful Onomea Bay. In the 1800s, the area was a rough-water seaport. In the second half of … Continue reading

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