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Waimea Valley

Explore > United States > Oahu > Waimea Valley

Waihi Falls in the Waimea Valley

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Waihi Falls in the Waimea Valley - Waimea Valley. Copyright Hawaii Tourism Japan (HTJ).

Waimea Valley is the home of more than 5,000 documented kinds of tropical and subtropical plants including native and endangered Hawaiian plants.

Waimea's Botanical Collections Specialist, David Orr, explains the connection between native plants and culture. 'Native and Polynesian-introduced plants are the foundation of Hawaiian culture. Waimea has a rich collection of heirloom varieties of kalo, sweet potato and banana. We have one of the state's most extensive collection of loulu palms, the only palms in Hawai'i before Hawaiians brought coconuts. Our diverse collection of plants is a display of over 1000 genera in over 200 plant families from all over the world in 35 separately themed gardens. One is solely devoted to the Hawaiian hibiscus, and includes all three endangered subspecies of our state flower.'

The exceptional botanical collections at Waimea Valley feature dozens of distinct gardens representing flora from different parts of the world and different groups of plants. Stroll through the Hawaiian collection and enjoy an assortment of plants found only in Hawai'i, many of which are rare

Waimea Valley, Lessons of an Ahuapua'a and Hawaiian Culture

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One of last partially intact ahupua'a on O`ahu, Waimea Valley consists of 1,875 acres and has been a sacred place for more than 700 years of Native Hawaiian history.

Waimea, "The Valley of the Priests," gained its title around 1090 when the ruler of O'ahu awarded the land to the kähuna nui. Descendants of the high priests lived and cared for much of the Valley until 1886.

As part of a cooperative conservation land purchase, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs acquired the property in 2006. In 2008, Hi'ipaka LLC was established to manage Waimea Valley and hold the deed.