Looking for a place to center yourself from a hectic schedule? Foster Botanical Garden is a hidden gem right in the middle of Honolulu, on the island of Oahu.
The garden shares the same footprint with the Buddhist Temple on the edge of Chinatown. This botanical garden was first started from land leased by Queen Kalama to a young German doctor - Dr William Hillebrand. He and his wife began planting in the mid-1850's and from that love of plants grew one of Oahu's oldest botanical parks.
Eventutally, the German doctor moved back home and sold the property to the Foster family. Thomas & Mary Foster continued on the love of botany & with their green thumbs grew the park to what we see today.
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.
Ever wondered how pineapples grew?
Mother nature is fascinating, borrowing from all creations. This here is a spider orchid.
What a fierce name... One must respect the Flame of the Forest Tree.
The beauty of the Cattleya orchid inspires countless Hawaiian fabric designs, you'll find in our Hawaiian dresses & aloha shirts.
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.
Airplants 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.
These 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.
Known 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.
This 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.
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!
Pretty torch gingers are as large as a coconut! A unique beauty most definitely.
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: