“Nani Mala” means beautiful gardens. If you want a botanist point of the view of Kauai, the Allerton Botanical Gardens is the perfect place to start. The tour wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was a great experience. It was a highly educational tour on botany.
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We took the Allerton tour. The botanical garden grounds were beautiful to walk around. You will have a little time if you get there early to do so. Then you take a tram for about 30 minutes to the Allerton portion of the gardens where you will walk for about 1.5 hours. The paths are all dirt and an easy walk.
Plants at Allerton Gardens
Most botanical gardens label the plants, this was not the case at the Allerton Gardens. However, the guide is very experienced in botany and is a resident for over 30 years. He was fascinating to listen to.
Allerton gardens are 67 acres. You will not see all of it on the tour. Robert Allerton purchased the land in the 1930’s and created the gardens with the help of his partner. They transformed this red dirt land into a luscious garden. Most of the plants came from other countries. We learned about the Noni plant, chocolate tree, tons of flowers, and the many varieties of trees.
Jurrasic Park Tree
You can also see the famous Ficus tree in the movie Jurassic Park movie. Ficus trees are not indigenous to the island. They were brought to the garden in the 1950’s. They were brought in pots small enough to hold them in your hand. Think about that when you look up at them and see their massive root system. It is really incredible.
There are tons of Hibiscus. The white Hibiscus are the only ones native to Hawaii. In addition the garden was home to Tulip trees, Plumeria, Spider Lilies, Red Jade, Ginger, Coconut Trees, Guava Trees, Chocolate tree, Orchids, Lotus, and lots of Bromeliads.