Lyon Arboretum

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The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is a arboretum and botanical garden managed by the University of Hawaii at Mānoa located at the upper end of Mānoa Valley in Hawaii.

Much of the Arboretum's botanical collection consists of an artificial lowland tropical rainforest with numerous trails and small water features.


The Manoa Arboretum was established in 1918 by the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association to demonstrate watershed restoration and test various tree species for reforestation, as well as collect living plants of economic value. The original director of the arboretum was Dr. Harold L. Lyon, a botanist from Minnesota who was plant pathologist for the HSPA. During his tenure, Lyon planted nearly 2,000 species of trees on the site.

In 1953, at Lyon's urging, the HSPA conveyed the arboretum site to the University of Hawaii, with the stipulation that the site continue to be used as an arboretum and botanical garden in perpetuity. After Lyon's death in 1957, the arboretum was renamed in his honor.

Today, the Arboretum continues to develop its extensive tropical plant collection, while emphasizing native Hawaiian plants, such as Pritchardia spp. (palms). Its over 15,000 accessions focus primarily on the monocot families of palm, gingers, heliconias, bromeliads, and aroids. Native and Polynesian cultivated and wild species are displayed in the ethnobotanical, native ecosystems, and Hawaiian...
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