Public Gardens Listing: Foster Botanical Garden (Honolulu, HI)

Foster Botanical Garden

While balcony container gardeners enjoy their small-space urban gardens, sometimes a few container plants on an apartment balcony above a busy street just isn’t peaceful enough. Balcony gardeners might not be able to have a peaceful, large garden, but there are public gardens and arboretums near every major city. Don’t just fawn over pictures of luxurious gardens, get out there and enjoy a day at a public garden! You may even bring some gardening inspiration home to your own balcony container garden.

If you live in or are visiting Hawaii, why not visit the Foster Botanical Garden?

  • The Foster Botanical Garden is 13.5 acres and is the oldest botanical garden in Hawaii (it is actually on the National Register of Historic Places).
  • Foster Botanical Garden is the first of five parks on Honolulu that became today’s 650-acre Honolulu Botanical Gardens system.
  • A German botanist lived for 20 years on the site of the Foster Botanical Garden (until 1884). He introduced a number of nonnative plants and animals to Hawaii. After he returned to Germany, the property was sold to Thomas and Mary Foster. Mary Foster died in 1930 and left the land to Honolulu with the provision that it always be kept a public park known as Foster Park.
  • The garden contains clone descendant of the legendary Bodhi Tree that Buddha sat under for inspiration. This tree is a Sacred Fig (Ficus religiosa).
  • Near the Butterfly Garden is a small-scale replica of The Great Buddha of Kamakura, a 44-foot tall bronze Buddha statue in Kamakura, Japan.
  • More than 75,000 people visit the Foster Botanical Garden each year.
  • Make sure to take a self-guided tour of the gardens and see the Palm collection, Lyon Orchid Garden, Orchid Conservatory, Prehistoric Glen and the 24 “exceptional” trees of the Foster Botanical Garden.
  • The botanical garden has “exceptional trees” due to the Exceptional Tree Act of 1975. According to the Foster Botanical Garden’s website, trees are deemed “exceptional” by “reason of age, rarity, location, size, aesthetic quality, endemic status or historical and cultural significance.” “Exceptional trees” much be safeguarded from injury or destruction (one tree in the garden actually has a small fence around it!).

Foster Botanical Garden Quick Info
(808) 522-7066
50 North Vineyard Boulevard, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
Admission $5 ($3 for Hawaii residents, $1 children 6 to 12 years old)
Open daily 9am-4pm
Closed on Christmas and New Year’s Day



Additional information