Foster Botanical Gardens is not just a Botanical garden but has been placed on the National Register Of Historic Places. In 1853 Queen Kalama leased a 5.5 acre parcel of land to a young German doctor and botanist named William Hillerbrand. Dr. Hillerbrand built his house on the upper terrace and planted trees and plants on the rest of the land. The magnificent “Exceptional trees” towering over the property were planted by him. After 20 years on Oahu, Dr. Hillerbrand returned to Germany. The property was sold to Captain Thomas Foster and his wife Mary. The Fosters continued caring for and adding to the garden. When Mrs. Foster died in 1930, she bequeathed the 5.5 acre site to the city and county of Honolulu. Foster Botanical garden officially opened as a public garden on November 30, 931, with Dr. Harold Lyon as director. For the next 27 years Lyon added 10,000 new kinds of trees and plants to the . Over the years through individual gifts and purchases from the city, the Botanical garden grew to 13.5 acres. The garden has become a living museum with many rare and endangered plants collected from all over the world over the past 150 years.

Cannon Ball Tree at Foster Botanical Gardens

There are six areas of special interest in the garden. They include:

1) Lyon Orchid Garden
The Lyon Orchid garden contains a collection of new and old world orchid species, some which belonged to Dr. Lyon himself.

2) Main Terrace
The Main Terrace is the oldest part of the garden dating back to 1853.

3) The Middle Terrace
The Middle Terrace contains many different plants such as: Palms, aroids, heliconia and ginger plants.

4) Economic Garden
This garden contains plants that are useful economically. The garden contains: an herb garden, spices, dyes, poisons and beverage plants.

5) Prehistoric Glen
The Prehistoric Glen contains plants from the world. Some of these rare plants date back to the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.

6) Hybrid Orchids
This display offers many different blooming orchids from all over Polynesia and other places throughout the world.

7) Exceptional Trees
There are 25 trees throughout the garden that are over 100 years and designated “exceptional”.

I am sure that you will enjoy Foster Botanical Gardens, with it’s easy Honolulu location. Check out the Prehistoric Glen, it is awesome to see plants remaining from the Dinosaur days.

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