preview-2The National Tropical Botanical Garden aims to “enrich life through discovery, scientific research, conservation, and education by perpetuating the survival of plants, ecosystems, and cultural knowledge of tropical regions.” Based in the tropical paradise of Kauai, the NTBG is currently trying to increase awareness of the dire situation of many rare tropical plants that could have many uses (including medicine, food, and even shelter). It also distinguishes itself as a “botanical ark,” preserving various endangered plants in hopes of preserving them and perhaps reintroducing them to their natural habitats in the future.

There currently are 3 National Tropical Botanical Gardens on Kauai: Limahuli Gardens, McBryde Gardens and the Allerton Gardens.

Located across the road from Spouting Horn Park at 4425 Lawai Road in Poipu, the Bill & Jean Lani Visitor preview-3Center, a restored 1920’s sugar plantation home, houses an exquisite gift shop and is the check-in point for transport into the McBryde Garden and the Allerton Garden.  The gift shop features hand-crafted items by local artists, botanical gifts, and hard-to-find books for the gardening enthusiast.

Allerton Garden:

Once a retreat of Hawaii’s Queen Emma, the cliffs of the Lawai Valley still cascase with her favorite deep-purple bougainvillea.  Delight you senses in this garden of beauty, a masterpiece of landscape design and a natural showcase for tropical plants.  Behind the seemingly ancient Jurassic Park Trees (Moreton Bay Figs).  Stroll through outdoor “rooms,” beside rippling pools and dramatic sculpture.  Drink in the sights and sounds of fascinating plants, vibrant flowers and flowing waters. Taste the flavor of Europe blended with the spirit of Hawaii.  You’ll find a place filled with surprises!

preview-4ALLERTON GARDEN TOURS: Open Monday through Saturday.  All tours are guided, reservations required. Duration of tours are 2 to 2.5 hours.  Trams depart the Visitor’s Center (4425 Lawai Road in Poipu) at 9 am, 10 am, 1 pm and 2 pm.  Please call 808-742-2623 to schedule.

McBryde Garden:

Secluded between rugged cliffs dropping down to a verdant valley floor, the McBryde Garden is a treasure house of tropical flora.  Explore the unique biodiversity of native and exotic plants, recognized for their value and their beauty.  See rare and endangered Hawaiian species and learn about the efforts to save them.  Visit the living laboratory where scientists are still discovering the secrets of these plants.  Take a trip back to ancient Hawaii in the Canoe Garden.  Follow an every-changing stream as it meanders toward the sea.  Share in the richness that is the McBryde Garden.

MCBRYDE GARDEN TOURS: Garden tours run daily, reservations are not required.  Trans depart the Visitor’s Center (4425 Lawai Road in Poipu) every hour on the half hour from 9:30 to 2:30.  For questions please call 808-742-2623

Limahuli Garden:

Set in a lush tropical valley surrounded by towering peaks sculpted by eons of wind and rain, preview-6Limahuli Garden offers visions of incomparable natural beauty and intriguing antiquity.  Walk through lava rock terraces built by Limahuli’s early inhabitants and see the taro that still thrives there.  Learn about the native plants of Hawaii and the plants brought to the island by voyaging Polynesians.  Finch enchantment in legends of the valley and the ancient rocks that watch over it.  Take away a love for the land and a sense of having stepped into the past.

LIMAHULI GARDEN TOURS:  1/4 mile before Ke’e Beach, end of the road on the North Shore.  Open Tuesday through Saturday, 9:30 am to 4:00 pm.  Guided 2 to 2.5 hour tours & self-guided 1 to 1.5 hour tours.  Walk 3/4 miles on a loop trail, steep in some areas.  Attire: comfortable walking shoes, umbrellas provided.  Reservations required for Guided Tours only.  Ph: 808-826-1053

preview-5The vast extinction of plant species makes the work of the National Botanical Garden critical for future generations.  Today this work is carried  out at 5 gardens and three preserves in Hawaii and in Florida.  We invite you to join this important work by becoming a member, for we are the stewards of the land!