Geophytes in Hawaii - A Request for Suggestions

Matt Mattus
Sat, 13 Dec 2003 05:29:24 PST
on 12/12/03 1:26 PM, at wrote:

> Don't miss a visit to Foster's Botanical Garden in downtown oahu.  It is one
> of my favorite, not for bulbs but you will see trees there that you won't find
> elsewhere.  Take the time to check out every tree,  there are a few that I
> have never found anywhere else, nor have I been able to find information or
> seeds for them.  Just go to every botanical garden you spot on the maps.  At
> the 
> airport there are stands of brochures on what to do and see, I have found
> brochures on anthirium farms and such.  Not what every tourist is looking for
> and 
> when we went we were usually given a personal private tour through these
> places, some of them huge.  I am sure that is because not many tourist do go
> there.  
> Carolyn Craft in Los Gatos, CA
> _______________________________________________
> pbs mailing list
I lived in Hawaii during high School and College, there are some introduced
geophytes, as most plants to Hawaii are, and I agree, Fosters Botanical
garden in Honolulu is a great place to see some very rare tropical trees,
and some unusual ones if you are from the states, especially the canonball
tree, Couroupita guinensis and a huge kapok tree, Ceiba pentandra.(Not that
I'm all informed about trees). I would suggest , especially if you have a
car, near The botanical garden are the grounds of Iolani Palace, great
Monkey Pod Trees, cant think of any interesting geophytes, except on the
cinder ash slopes of high elevations of Maui on Mt. Haleakala - Sunrise is
the time to go according to tourists, so that you can see the sunrise, the
trafic can be crazt though so if you went in the after noon, you could avoid
traffic.  My favorite botanizinf place in Hawaii though is in Honolulu, on a
residential road called Tantalus drive( Basically the steep mountains behind
the botanical gardens, they go right up to a few thousand feet or so, and
the drive is spectacular, two hours lond or tenty minutes without stops,and
no tourists. At first residential, then you are in a rainforest situ, with
lots of epiphytes and tropicals on a very windy and steep road. Go twice,
once during the day to see the great views, and once at night, especially if
the moon is out - the white ginger that grows like our native New England
blueberries under the high tension wires, of all places is SO fragrant, and
heady that you can smell it even with the windows shut. Be sure to stop at
Pu'u Ualakaa Park and walk around, and hike some of the trails, even up to
the cinder cones ast the peaks, you can find lots of envitonmental changes
in Hawaii in just the elevation, and in this area, species change from tiny
crevase to each tiny valley. Look for honey creepers, some of which are just
endemic to that specific valley. The night blooming cereus, anlther
introduced plant si still spectacular since it  drapes over the branches and
road and even makes a few tunnels to drive through which might be in bloom.
Just a fun little drive. Ask your hotel how to get there. It's right behind
the private high school Punaho.

Matt Mattus
Worcester, MA

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