Lyon Arboretum

In the verdant Manoa Valley above Honolulu, Lyon Arboretum boasts a rainforest full of botanical treasures. Over 5000 plant varieties fill almost 200 acres (81 hectares) of jungle. There aren’t many orchids, but there are many other incredible tropical flowers and gorgeous views.

Blue Ginger flowers and buds, Dichorisandra thyrsiflora, at Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, HawaiiView of trees and mountains at Inspiration Point, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, HawaiiVireya Rhododendron flowers, at Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, Hawaii

Almost a century ago, the Hawaiian Sugar Planters’ Association set this land aside to protect the watershed for growing sugarcane. Now, Lyon Arboretum is run by the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa, and shines as a world leader in tropical plant conservation. For visitors, there are over 7 miles (11 km) of hiking trails, which weave through different gardens, and up to a small waterfall. The grounds include a native Hawaiian garden, herb & spice garden, bromeliad garden, children’s garden, a palm garden with one of the largest collections in the world, and much more. With so many exotic plants, it’s jammed-packed with tropical beauty, especially when some leaves are colorful enough to compete with flowers.

Hiking trail, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, HawaiiColorful leaves, hot pink and green leaves, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, HawaiiGreen and yellow ginger flower, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, Hawaii

We found some orchids mounted on trees and branches, like the vanilla orchid vine climbing up a tree trunk in the next photo. Unfortunately, none of the orchids were in bloom, but there was much more to capture our attention in the jungle trails. Besides the trees, plants, and birds, mosquitoes were another reminder of our rainforest location, and unfortunately we forgot to bring the bug spray. We got lots of itchy bites, so remember yours if you visit. We noticed that some locals hiking the trails were wearing long sleeves and long pants, which is a good alternative if you’re not fond of pesticides.

 Vanilla planifolia vine growing up tree, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, HawaiiEtlingera cornerii, Rose of Siam, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, HawaiiMoss growing up side of tree, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, Hawaii

Spiral Ginger, Costus pulverulentus, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, HawaiiRain shelter and lotus pond, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, HawaiiAechmea bromeliad flower, Lyon Arboretum, Honolulu, Hawaii

In case these photos aren’t enough to convince you to visit Lyon Arboretum, I’ll have more pictures coming soon. Check out the Friends of Lyon Arboretum to help support the gardens and keep them thriving.

Explore posts in the same categories: Botanical Gardens, Conservation, Photos

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2 Comments on “Lyon Arboretum”

  1. Erin Griffin Says:

    Love the pic that looks like a beautiful trail, still wet and muddy. I really have to visit Hawaii. Every time I see what grows there I am simply astounded!!!

  2. Claudia Says:

    Hey, I never knew of the existance of this park and I lived in honolulu for 8 yrs. My friends never heard of it either. Thanks for the blog. We will have to go check it out.