Lyon Arboretum is part of the University of Hawaiʻi and a public botanical garden. We are nestled in the back of Mānoa Valley, just five miles from the bustle of Waikiki. Lyon Arboretum has over seven miles of hiking trails and boasts more than 6,000 taxa of tropical and sub-tropical plants on our nearly 200 acres.
Update 2/26/21: In light of the state’s shift from Tier II to Tier III, Lyon Arboretum has revisited its admissions policies. Although we are encouraged by the overall trend within the state, we are opting for a cautious and deliberate easing of restrictions. Please continue to refer to this page and our eventbrite page for information about our admissions policies. If you have further questions, please contact our main office at 808-988-0456. Mahalo nui loa!
Lyon Arboretum will be closed to the public all day on
- Friday, March 5, 2021 – internal operations
- Friday, March 26, 2021 – Holiday
- Friday, April 2, 2021 – Holiday
Information on Admission to Lyon Arboretum
Lyon Arboretum is open to visitors! Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we have modified our admissions policies. Access to the grounds and facilities has been limited, as have our hours.
Reservations are required.
Admission is still free, but donations are greatly appreciated.
Masks are required.
Visits will be limited to 2 hours. Entrance and exit times are strictly enforced as described on the eventbrite page.
Bathrooms and the gift shop are closed.
Groups of more than 5 people are prohibited.
Social distancing (6 feet or more between members of different households) must be practiced.
Visits are self-guided only. Guided tours are not offered at this time. Families can purchase the Arboretum Keiki Kits that will provide an in-depth experience while visiting the Arboretum. Good for both children and young-at-heart adults! Information about the kits can be found below.
Questions regarding reservations can be directed to our Main Office at (808) 988-0456. Mahalo!
Explore the Arboretum with our keiki kits!
If you are bringing keiki to the Arboretum, or are just young at heart, consider purchasing a Lyon Arboretum Exploration Kit. Each kit includes a magnifying glass, crayons, and an activity booklet by our own Education Department to guide you and your family through a more in-depth exploration of the Arboretum. Enhance your appreciation of the Arboretum on your next visit!
Kits are $5 each (cash only) and can be ordered ahead of time through our handy online form. Payment is due when you pick up your kit at the beginning of your visit. On Mondays only, kits will also be available for purchase at the time of your visit, no preorder required, in limited quantity.
All proceeds will go to support the Education Department in bringing environmental education and outreach to Hawaiʻi’s keiki.
Update: as of 2/23/21 we are back in stock!
Spring 2021 Virtual Community Classes – Sign up today!
Registration for our Spring 2021 Virtual Community Classes is now open! Check out these exciting offerings and sign up today.
We are still developing our spring class schedule, so be sure to check back for other class offerings.
Last updated: 2/5/21
Paid Internships for Summer 2021 – Apply now
Apply now for paid summer internships at Lyon Arboretum! With support from the Friends of Lyon Arboretum, we are pleased to offer four internships for summer 2021. Two other paid trail-building internships are available with the generous support of a private donor.
Work with our Grounds and Collections, Horticulture, Micropropagation or Seed Conservation Departments, and make connections and gain experience in conservation–all in the back of beautiful Manoa Valley!
Applications are due at the beginning of March. High school graduates 18 or older, current and recent college students, and other individuals interested in gaining experience in conservation are all welcome to apply.
Printable postcard & other downloadables
Check out our new printables & downloadables page for our ʻohai postcard!
Teacher and Student Resources available online
Aloha teachers! We are pleased to share our new Teacher and Student Resources page. We have collected a variety of resources from around the web–as well as some from our own office–to share with you.
3rd Grade Digital Resources Bundle now available
February 8, 2021
The Lyon Arboretum Education Department is excited to announce our Amazing Adaptations Digital Resources Bundle is now available. This bundle features materials to help students and teachers explore adaptations that let plants survive in different habitats in our islands.
Our resources are place-based and all proceeds support Lyon Arboretum’s education and outreach programs.
For more information, check out the Amazing Adaptations Digital Resources page. Mahalo nui loa for your support!
Middle- and High School Native Plants Bundle now available (web exclusive)
January 14, 2021
The Lyon Arboretum Education Department is excited to announce that our brand-new Endemic Endeavors (Native Plants) Digital Resources Bundle is now available. This all-new offering is designed for middle- and high school students to explore the native plants of Hawaiʻi and grapple with a real-world conservation issue with our historical debate activity.
This digital bundle is a place-based way to delve into the unique flora of our islands and the challenges our native species face. Our resources are place-based, and all proceeds go to support Lyon Arboretum’s education and outreach programs.
For more information, check out the Endemic Endeavors (Native Plants) Digital Resources Bundle page. Mahalo nui loa for your support!
2nd Grade Digital Resources Bundle now available
January 8, 2021
The Lyon Arboretum Education Department is pleased to announce that our new Plants and Friends Digital Resources Bundle is available. “Plants and Friends” is our Grade 2 field trip which explores plant-animal interactions in pollination and seed dispersal.
The digital bundle is a way to bring our seed dispersal lab activity into your classroom, whether it’s in person or online. Our resources are place-based and all proceeds support Lyon Arboretum’s education and outreach programs.
For more information, check out the Plants and Friends Digital Resources page. Mahalo nui loa for your support!
1st Grade Digital Resources Bundle now available
October 14, 2020
The Lyon Arboretum Education Department is pleased to announce that our new Sort It Out Digital Resources Bundle is available. “Sort It Out” is our Grade 1 field trip, which explores the concept of trait variation in plants. The digital bundle is a way to bring our ti leaf traits activity into your classroom, whether it’s in person or online. Students will practice recognizing similarities and differences using a familiar, local plant: ti!
For more information, check out the Sort It Out Digital Resources Bundle page. Mahalo nui loa to all our teachers for their work with our keiki!
We are sorry to announce that we are not planning to host a Lyon Nature Camp this Spring Break, March 2021.
If our state reaches Tier III, we do hope to host a 2021 Summer Nature Camp.
If you would like to receive email updates about the status of our camps, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and ask to be added to the email list.
We are grateful for our community’s continued support, and we hope to see you this summer.
Lyon Arboretum is saying a hui hou to our director, Dr. Rakan “Zak” Zahawi as he leaves for his new directorship at the Charles Darwin Foundation in the Galapagos! While we are sad to see Zak go, the Arboretum will be in the capable hands of Nellie Sugii as Acting Director. Mahalo nui loa for the amazing leadership of the last 3 years and best of luck, Zak!
Lyon Arboretum is teaming up with Hawaiʻi Historic Foundation (HHF) to offer a special webinar on Wednesday, February 17, 2021. The webinar, “Native Hawaiian Culture, Ethnobotany and Restoration at Lyon Arboretum” will be hosted by Grounds and Collection Manager Liloa Dunn and Research Associate Jesse Adams. Visit the HHF website to sign up today!
A new native Hawaiian flower has been discovered, and propagation–facilitated by a paste developed by Lyon Arboretum’s own Nellie Sugii–is underway.
LAHAINA — Hawaiʻi’s rich collection of unique, native plant species has added a new member to its ranks: a new species has been described for the first time. Only one individual of the new species, named Cyanea heluensis, is currently known from a remote location in West Maui. While exploring the steep slopes of Helu above Lahaina, botanist Hank Oppenheimer and colleague Jennifer Higashino found a single large plant in the deep shade of a healthy ʻōhiʻa forest.