Nestled deep in Manoa Valley on the island of Oahu, the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is a leader in the fields of conservation biology, Hawaiian ethnobotany and horticulture. On its 194 acres, Lyon Arboretum maintains a world renowned collection of more than 5,000 tropical plant species; supports Hawaii's horticultural and agriculture industries; and works to preserve and restore Hawaii's tropical forests. It is an active research facility and academic resource offering a wide range of programs to local and international communities including an innovative and ground-breaking tissue culture program for propagation of endangered native Hawaiian plants.
With an abundant average rainfall of 165 inches, this tropical rainforest setting is an ideal location for growing an enormous diversity of plants. The plant collection features heliconias, gingers, aroids, bromeliads, native Hawaiian plants, and one of the largest palm collections found in a botanical garden. Since the Arboretum formally opened to the public in 1972, various theme gardens have been established. In the lower grounds near the Visitor Center, visitors can stroll through the herb and spice garden, the Native Hawaiian Garden, and the Beatrice Krauss Hawaiian Ethnobotanic Garden. The more adventurous hiker can explore the upper grounds in the Economic Section, the palm collection, and another native Hawaiian garden.