Coconut Tree Grove -- Kahanu Garden Hana, Maui (HI) October 2014
The National Tropical Botanical Garden is a Hawaiian not-for-profit institution dedicated to tropical plant research, conservation, and education. It operates a network of botanical gardens and preserves in Hawaii and Florida.
On the rugged Hāna coast, along the far eastern shores of Maui, Kahanu Garden grows in splendid isolation, nestled in the one of the largest, untamed native hala (Pandanus) forests in the Islands.
Plant collections from the Pacific Islands are the focus here, particularly plants of value to the Hawaiian people as well as to other cultures of Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia.
At Kahanu, one learns the cultural relationships between the people and these remarkable plants that were transported around the Pacific on ancient voyaging canoes. Among the different ethnobotanical collections that are housed here is the world's largest collection of breadfruit cultivars, which serves as a germplasm repository for this important South Pacific food crop.
Situated in the storied land of Honomā`ele, Kahanu Garden is the home to Pi`ilanihale, a massive lava-rock structure that is believed to be the largest ancient place of worship (heiau) in Polynesia. This cultural site is registered as a National Historic Landmark.