While we were on vacation my son Eric and I drove to Ha’ena State Park in Kaua’i, which is located almost as far north and west as you can drive on the island, to visit Limahuli Garden National Tropical Botanical Garden. It is a beautiful, peaceful place and an excellent place to see many native Hawai’ian plants as well as some spectacular scenery.
The 700-year-old rock terraces of the Kalo (Taro) garden were very beautiful.
‘Uala (sweet potato) was brought to Hawai’i by the Polynesians as a food crop.
There were Mai’a (banana) plants and Ki (Ti) plants in many colors in this part of the Garden too.
The Pua Aloalo (hibiscus) blossoms were spectacular. Here are some of them:
There were other beautiful flowering trees and plants as well.
This beautiful spot for contemplation showcases Hala trees in the background. The leaves (lau) of the Hala tree were woven into useful items by native Hawai’ians, and it is still woven into useful items today.
The Makana Mountain ridge makes a beautiful backdrop for the garden. This is the mountain that was popularized as Bali Hai in the movie South Pacific.
When I reached the top of the trail I could see the ocean as I looked past Makana.
There were many lovely, fragrant Queen Emma lilies on the path back to the visitor’s center.
Even though the Plumeria branches were bare for the winter, they still had beautiful blossoms.
As I sat under a mango tree in one last contemplation area near the end of the trail I saw a flash of red. I saw a Northern Cardinal foraging in the bushes. Northern Cardinals were introduced to Hawai’i in the late 1920’s. I did not have a telephoto lens with me, but I was able to get close enough to take a photo of him with a portrait lens.
Limahuli Garden and Preserve received the 1997 American Horticultural Society’s award as the best natural botanical garden in the United States. It is a wonderful place to visit.
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