Foster Gardens

Foster Gardens is a little oasis bordered by a freeway.  It is worth visiting throughout the year to see the seasonal
changes. Bring lots of insect repellent. This is mosquito heaven.

The last five photos were added in February 2015.

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Foster Gardens has a collection of tropical plants, many of them rare and endangered,
collected over 150 years. It is easily accessible with its own parking lot.

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The vertical sculptures near the entrance (center right) are ballast stones used by ships
when they came to Hawaii to load sugar and pineapple.

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Foster Gardens is one of five botanical gardens on Oahu operated by the City and County of
Honolulu. There are many native plants in the gardens, but also many from other continents.

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Volunteers lead guided tours of the gardens every day at 13.00. The tour takes a bit over an hour.

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There are several open spaces with lawns and trees, but also winding paths.

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The plants and trees are well marked.

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There is a sign warning of falling cannonballs by the entrance gate and by the trees.
The trees, common in India and Latin America, are cordoned off.

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The “fruits” are the size of large cannonballs, and there are plenty of them.
They are edible but mainly fed to animals as humans do not appreciate their smell.

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The cannonball tree, Couroupita guianensis, can become up to 35 meters in height and has very pretty flowers.

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Flower of the cannonball tree.

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There are several Kapok trees, Ceiba Pentandra, which can become 60 – 70 meters tall and have buttress roots.

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There is one Rainbow Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus deglupta, in the garden, and there are others on Oahu.

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These trees are in a stand at the entrance to the Dole Plantation Visitors Center along Kamehameha Highway in Wahiawa. Patches of  bark
shed at different times, showing a bright green inner bark. This then darkens and matures to give blue, purple, orange and maroon tones.

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Rainbow Eucalyptus.

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There are not many flowers during the “winter” months, but colorful tropical foliage is common to Hawaii.

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Bamboo by the entrance. There are around 1,450 species of bamboo in the world.

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These fruit (botanically they are berries) on a Common Calabash Tree, Crescentia cujete, grow directly on the stem.

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There is a double coconut palm, Lodoicea Maldivica, endemic to the Maldives. It is known for making the
largest seeds in the plant kingdom. It takes two years for the seed to germinate, 20-40 years for the palm to flower,
and 6-10 years for the fruits to mature. The fruits weigh 15-30 kg, the largest ever recorded was 42 kg.


Leaf base for the double coconut palm tree.

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Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis), is a species of flowering trees in the mulberry family, common throughout the Pacific region.

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A flowering pomelo, Citrus grandis, with fruits in the background.

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Fruits on a lipstick tree, Bixa Orellana. Cultivated in India for many centuries for the yellow-orange dye obtained from its
seeds, which is still used to color food. The seedpod can vary in color and becomes red-brown when it dries. See back right.

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Buddha’s hand, Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis, is a fragrant citron variety.
It is used commercially to flavour a premium vodka.

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Cocoa pods, Theobroma cacao.

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Metrosideros polymorpha, Ohia Lehua, is endemic to the Hawaiian islands.


Croton, picture taken in February 2015.


Pitcher plant pitfall trap, picture taken in February 2015


Lady Slipper orchid, family Paphiopedilum, picture taken in February 2015.


Orchid in the green house, picture taken in February 2015

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