Let's Go! Hawai'i, Part III

 OK, one final Hawai'i post. There is just so much to see that I must share some of the "out and about" plant-related photos and moments. These are all from the Big Island, mostly on the Kona coast, some at Kilauea volcano area, and a few sprinkled in-between.
Please, sit back and enjoy a small sampling of the plants of what we consider to be paradise.

This little guy was doing push-ups on a Noni tree fruit.

Agave attenuata, I believe. These were huge and all over, I wanted to take photos of every one but the car kept zooming by as David was the driver. This is the only photo I took of these plants. Darn! There were some massive ones, five feet tall, really!

Bloom of a plumeria, these trees were everywhere and their scent is heavenly. In fact, there were a few planted in the gardens around our condo.

A walkway to someone's home along the main drive, Ali'i Drive on the Kona coast. I passed this scene every day and my heart skipped a beat each time.

 New foliage on this palm emerges orange. Or is it dying? Anyone?
I saw a lot of this and it seemed like new growth but I am not sure.

Just a perfect coastal scene, nothing specific to point out.

Rustic island life. With good plants.

Bismarckia nobilis, I believe. We also saw a lot of these in Australia. Especially pretty with the sun setting on its leaves.

A bit blurry, sorry about that. But what a cool palm! Ravenala madagascariensis, traveller's palm.

Shark tail tree? Not sure....I originally (from a distance) thought these were very strange leaves. 

At the farmer's market.

This is the Place of Refuge or Puuhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park. A very sacred and VERY cool place, this are the king's palace and gardens, essentially.

 The main house as seen from across the bay where we very gleefully snorkeled the morning away.

No snorkeling here, this is sacred ground. In fact, if you were caught in the king's bay as seen here, you forfeit your life. Not so strict today, but, hey, turtles hang out here and they don't appreciate being disturbed by tourists, so we stayed away and enjoyed the scene.

Some ├╝ber-fab ground covery goodness.

They had two pools for fish - one salty and one fresh. This was for the royal kitchen.

A lot of this succulent groundcover was growing here---en masse it was quite impressive.

How about that water? I'd stand there for eternity looking at it, too, if I could.

Some lava mixed in with the palms. The ocean is just beyond the trees.

A beautiful succulent spotted while at the Painted Church.

I like the coloration on these orchids.

Just down the street from our condo, this crazy palm must have an interesting story to tell.

Landscape on the way towards the south of the island.

The open forested areas of Mt. Kilauea.

Up on Mt. Kilauea this Ohi'a tree or Metrosideros polymorpha blooms away. These are indigenous to Hawai'i and are a very important and beautiful part of the eco-system.

Here is its seed pod. Kind of reminds me of baby birds anxious for dinner time.

That is steam rising from the ground. Kind of like Mordor, don't you think? But prettier and no orcs.

 More steam.

 Here is the Kilauea caldera. Now that's Mordor.

These are sulfur vents. I think that kid is covering his nose.

In the forests around the volcano, I am not sure of this species of fern but they were abundant.

Such a lush, green area. If we had known better, we would have stayed the night and done some serious hiking, some of the most diverse ecosystems on the island. Really special and unspoiled forest and lava-flow areas. 

The Amau fern, Cibotium glaucum. These are as large as trees in some cases.

Near the end of our trip, we visited a very historical site, Lekeleke burial grounds where in 1819 two Hawai'ian leaders battled to determine if the traditional way of life, or the "kapu" system, would continue to be embraced by the people. The pro-kapu leader lost, and so the traditional Hawai'an way of life was from that point on mostly abandoned. These photos are not of the actual burial site; I wanted to be respectful. This nearby area is overgrown with pennisetum, a beautiful pest in Hawai'i. The sun coming through was gorgeous, too bad it's invasive.

And finally one of the many colorful birds we encountered. It's a Saffron finch.

The moon as seen from the airplane on our way home.

Hawai'i is a magical place full of some of the most diverse climates and ecosystems found anywhere on earth. There is snow, and there is sulfur, rainforests and lava fields, turquoise waters and agriculture. It is a place with friendly, kind people and a wonderful, warm climate. I knew I would like Hawai'i, but I did not expect to simply fall in love with it and all of its wonders. 

That's it from the Hawai'an front, thank you for reading and until next week, happy gardening! 


  1. I enjoyed this immensely!

    1. Thank you so much for reading! Stay cool, Alison! We are missing you at the Fling!

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Patricia!

  3. Wow, that is total paradise! I want that Travelers Palm!

  4. Those are drop dead gorgeous photos!!! And that Agave attenuata is perfect. Someday...

    1. Thank you Danger! Agave....aaaahhh....soothes the soul.

  5. Hawaii, what a magical pictures, I enjoyed this so much too many beautiful things to mention.

    1. Hi Janneke, it IS magical. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading.

  6. I spent four years on the big island while growing up. My mother, recently divorced from my abusive father, purchased a house in the Hawaiian Paradise Park subdivision. My siblings and I went to school in Pahoa. I wonder if you drove through that town or along Highway 30. Even as a kid I was completely smitten with the flora. The orchids, the plumeria, the tea plants... I loved it all. I remember finding a Agave attenduata somewhere and planting it in our yard. It grew surprisingly fast. We picked papaya and pineapple from plants we grew. Did someone tell you the legend of Pele the volcano goddess? The red Ohia lehua flower belongs to her and if it is picked, she'll make it rain. There were other legends too and as a kid, they scared me. Gorgeous photos. It sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Wouldn't it be nice to have an entire area with that succulent ground cover that looks a lot like "Pork and Beans plant."

    1. HI Grace, hmm...I don't know? It was my first time there so I am unfamiliar with the highways (ask my husband, he knows them all!).....what a great place to live as a child....magic!


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