The native garden is a collection of indigenous and endemic Hawaiian plants that will grow at the elevation of the Arboretum, approximately 500 feet (152.4 m). It is designed to help visitors to the garden learn to identify native species, and to encourage their use in landscaping. The garden is also an important source of propagation and research material for the Arboretum. Most of the species in the garden were collected from the wild on Oahu but a few are from other islands in the chain.
There is a free brochure available in our Visitor Center and online with a map of the native garden and brief descriptions of many of the plants in the garden. As you walk through the plantings you will pass three large informational panels. The first describes how the ancestors of Hawaiian plants reached the islands and the number of species they evolved into. The second focuses on the large number of endangered species in the state, the reasons for their decline and what we can do to help them recover. The third panel is about the Oahu Amakihi, the only native honeycreeper at Lyon. This forest bird species has apparently developed resistance to avian malaria and avian pox, two introduced diseases that have contributed to the decline and extinction of many of Hawaii's endemic birds.