About: Horticulture and Grounds and Collections

Lyon Arboretum houses more than 19,300 individual plants representing some 6,200 taxa. This diverse collection reflects the various areas of study that the Arboretum has had over the past century. Our collection is known for ornamentals including heliconias, gingers, aroids, and figs, and we curate one of the world’s largest palm collections. Plants native to Hawaiʻi are highlighted in a showcase garden and in our native forest restoration area. Naturally, the main attraction is our trees, some of which are over one hundred years old! The Arboretum boasts twelve specialty gardens. For more information about our gardens, check out our gardens page.

If you would like to request materials or specimens from Lyon Arboretum, please see our research request page.

Grounds and Collections Department

The Grounds and Collections Department curates the Arboretum’s living plant collections, removes invasive species, maintains a plant records database, and creates and maintains the Arboretum’s seven miles of trails. This department provides support for researchers and offers an array of volunteer opportunities for individuals and groups. Grounds and Collections also hosts a GIS Lab. For more information about a project from our GIS Lab, check out our interactive map.

Horticulture Department

The Horticulture Department produces and maintains thousands of living plants, representing hundreds of species, in our greenhouse facilities. Working closely with the Grounds and Collections Department, Horticulture staff members coordinate the exchange of plant material with other botanical gardens, arboreta, and organizations in Hawaiʻi and beyond in order to grow our living collections. Horticulturists at Lyon also conduct propagation and growing trials to determine best practices for challenging or rare species. And of course, the Horticulture Department hosts community events at Lyon where the public has a chance to purchase rare and unique plants and handmade crafts, taste fresh local treats, and explore the garden.