Lyon Arboretum of the University of Hawaii at Manoa provides a look at Honolulu quite different from the beaches.
|View of Waikiki Beach, Honolulu, Hawaii|
Each of the Hawaiian Islands is complex, with wet sides and dry sides, seacoasts to thick forests, and on some islands, to high elevation environments. The island with Honolulu, Oahu, is no exception. One easy way to experience that Oahu is not all beaches is at the Lyon Arboretum. A plant collection of the University of Hawaii, the Lyon Arboretum rises from about 450' to 1,850' elevation. The drive from the beach takes you up and up and up, leaving you in the parking lot to walk up some more, and still be near the lowest point of the Arboretum. Above Honolulu are steep, forested hills, some inhabited, some too steep. (Take a close look at a satellite image of Honolulu).
|Hills of Honolulu from Lyon Arboretum|
Lyon Arboretum has a vast collection of rare and common tropical plants.
|Ilie'e, Plumbago zeylandica|
Or this young tree of the iconic Hawaiian 'ohi'a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha, myrtle family, Myrtaceae)
|'ohi'a lehua, Metrosideros polymorpha|
My photo doesn't do ohia lehua justice. Here is a branch with flowers, from an April trip.
|'ohi'a lehua flowers|
Lyon Arboretum has a collection of "canoe plants," the species that Polynesians brought to Hawaii when they colonized it. One was taro, Colocasia esculenta, known in Hawaiian as kalo.
|kalo, Colocasia esculenta|
Another canoe plant was the sweet potato, Ipomoea batatas, 'ulaa.
There were also collections of non-Hawaiian plants. This stand of handsome bromeliads, for example, was part of a garden featuring all kinds of bromeliads, members of the plant family Bromeliaceae, from Hawaii and all over the world.
Comments and corrections welcome.
Note: In English, foreign words are put in italics. Scientific names of plants are considered to be in Latin, so are italicized. Hawaiian words would be italicized. But what of words from Hawaiian that are used as common names in English, such as ohia lehua? I decided those were English words and didn't italicize them.
About the Lyon Arboretum https://manoa.hawaii.edu/lyon/about/about-lyon-arboretum/
Canoe plants https://www.canoeplants.com/contents.html