Explore the Rich History and Natural Beauty of Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu


Nestled in the heart of Honolulu, Foster Botanical Garden is a hidden gem that offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and historical significance. As you stroll through its lush pathways and admire the diverse collection of plants, you'll discover that this garden has a fascinating history dating back to the time of the Hawaiian Kingdom.

A Garden Rooted in History

Established in 1853 during the reign of King Kamehameha III, Foster Botanical Garden holds the distinction of being one of Hawaii's oldest botanical gardens. Its creation is credited to Dr. William Hillebrand, a German physician and botanist who was appointed as a physician for the Hawaiian monarchy. Dr. Hillebrand's passion for botany led him to transform the garden's grounds into a living laboratory of tropical plants and trees.

A Legacy of Botanical Exploration

Dr. Hillebrand's mission was to collect and plant a wide variety of botanical specimens from around the world, contributing to the garden's remarkable diversity. Over the years, his dedication and vision have evolved into the beautiful and expansive botanical garden that visitors enjoy today.

A Tropical Oasis in the Heart of Honolulu

Visiting Foster Botanical Garden is like stepping into a tropical paradise. With its towering palms, vibrant orchids, and fragrant plumeria trees, the garden invites you to explore its rich tapestry of plant life. As you meander through the well-maintained paths, you'll encounter a diverse array of flora from both Hawaii and other regions of the world.

Why "Foster" Botanical Garden?

The garden is named after its benefactor, Thomas R. Foster, who played a significant role in supporting and expanding the garden during the early 20th century. His generous contributions and commitment to preserving this botanical treasure ensured that future generations would continue to enjoy its beauty.

Highlights of the Garden

  • Palm Collection: Marvel at a stunning collection of palm trees from various tropical locales. Some of these palms have been growing here for over a century.

  • Orchid Display: Admire the exquisite beauty of orchids in the Orchid Conservatory, where colorful blooms grace the air with their enchanting fragrances.

  • Exceptional Trees: Foster Botanical Garden is home to several exceptional trees, including a massive Moreton Bay Fig tree that has become a beloved landmark.

A Place of Beauty and Learning

Whether you're a botany enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, Foster Botanical Garden has something to offer everyone. It's a place where you can explore the rich history of Hawaii's botanical exploration while immersing yourself in the serenity of a well-preserved oasis.

So, the next time you find yourself in Honolulu, take a step back in time and enjoy the timeless beauty and historical significance of Foster Botanical Garden. It's a testament to the enduring love for nature and botany that has shaped Hawaii's landscape for generations.

 Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu

From the 1850's to present day, thousands of plants and trees were introduced to the garden. From tropical flora like hibiscus, orchids, anthuriums flowers to heliconias & torch gingers... You'll find an extensive herb garden as well as fruit and palm trees dotting throughout this garden, creating a relaxing oasis.

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu

Ever wondered how pineapples grew?

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu
Mother nature is fascinating, borrowing from all creations. This here is a spider orchid.

Tranquility In The Heart Of HonoluluWhat a fierce name... One must respect the Flame of the Forest Tree.

Tranquility In The Heart Of HonoluluThe beauty of the Cattleya orchid inspires countless Hawaiian fabric designs, you'll find in our Hawaiian dresses & aloha shirts.

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu
Flowers are beautiful, but carnivorous & airplants are fascinating! One depends on digesting the fluids of their preys... the other soaks in the moisture or air around them. 

This here is the pitcher plant. The top doesn't close down... instead, insects are attracted by the scent these plants give off & crawls into the pitcher of the plant. From there, they are stuck & slowly devoured by the digestive liquids inside the "pitcher" part of the plant. Curiosity killed the... bug.

Tranquility In The Heart Of HonoluluAirplants are perfect for those who forget to water their plants and are great for indoor living. We have a bunch of these in the office. Just spritz them with water every so often & they'll be happy & green. If you're lucky, they'll bloom too! These blooming airplants are tillandsia.

Tranquility In The Heart Of HonoluluThese bold beauties are commonly found in neighbors' gardens or on hiking trips. Loving the weather near the equator, the Heliconia is one of our favorite for their unique geometric shape & large impactful size.

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu

Tranquility In The Heart Of HonoluluKnown in Hawaii as the Crown flower, the Calotropis or Milkweed flower, is commonly strung into beautiful flower leis. They were once the favorite flower of Queen Liliuokalani. And yes, there definitely were monarch butterflies nearby.

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu

Tranquility In The Heart Of HonoluluThis is the ulu fruit & it is delicious! Baked in an oven, drizzled with Hawaiian salt & melted butter... It takes like bread. Which is why ulu is also known as breadfruit in Hawaii.

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu Long before coconuts trended, this versatile palm tree was already a heavy-weight in the Hawaiian culture. Used from seed to full grown palm tree, the husk of the coconut can be used as a fire starter. The shell can be fashioned into bowls, buttons, purses and fashion accessories. The fruit juice bottled up for high electrolytes and the fruit eaten or made into coconut milk. The fronds of the palm weaved into baskets or hats and the trunk used as timber for building homes, boats, furniture & musical instruments like drums too! If there's one palm to plant, the coconut tree is definitely on a high must do list. Thank you Coconut!

Tranquility In The Heart Of HonoluluPretty torch gingers are as large as a coconut! A unique beauty most definitely.

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu

Tranquility In The Heart Of Honolulu

If you're in need for forest bathing or long waited solo time; Foster Botanical Garden is a great escape. Easy parking just outside the entrance, the garden is a serene place to relax. Grab a book, a bowl of acai or poke & let nature free your mind and bring you back to center.

Enjoy & Aloha!




  • Guided tours available
  • Bring water / snacks or a yoga mat if you like
  • Free parking at the gardens
  • Restrooms available
  • Gift shop on premise
  • Admission: Adults $5 | Hawaii Residents $3 | Children 6 - 12 $1 | Children under 5 - Free
  • Foster Botanical Garden Website 

Foster Botanical Garden:


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