‘Plant Walk’ Shares Plants and Culture of Hawaiian People

March 16, 2015, 3:51 PM HST
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If you’re a garden, plant, or outdoor enthusiast, check out the ‘plant walk’ at the Amy B.H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden on the Kona Coast of the Big Island.

Named after local botanist, Amy Greenwell, the garden is home to 200 species of plants that once grew in old Hawaiian farms and native forests, before westerners came to the islands.  The site includes endemic, indigenous, and Polynesian-introduced plants, like the staple taro and kukui, and many rare and endangered species.

Both plant life and the culture of the Hawaiian people are highlighted.  The landscape is laid out to represent four zones from mountain to ocean (known in old Hawaii as ‘ahupua`a’): upland forest, agricultural, dry forest, and coastal.  The upper five acres of the gardens are an archaeological site, featuring Hawaiian stonework from an old network of farms and gardens that once covered the landscape.

Visitors can cover the grounds in a half-hour to hour, and learn about the many varieties of lush growth through informational signs sharing plant knowledge and their traditional uses.  A guided tour is offered every day at 1 p.m.  Visitors are advised to wear sunscreen, hats, and bug spray.

The gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., closed on Mondays and holidays.  Admission for visitors is $7 for adults, $6 for seniors 65 and older, and free for children 12 and under.  Local residents can enter the gardens for $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, and free for children.


The visitor center offers guidebooks for loan or purchase, as well as handcrafted items, snacks, books, and souvenirs.


For more information, call (808) 323-3318.



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