About Lyon

The Harold L. Lyon Arboretum is nestled in 193.5 acres of tropical rain forest at the top of the Manoa Valley watershed. Just 5 miles from the bustle of Waikiki, Lyon Arboretum serves as a cultural and scientific resource to urban O’ahu’s diverse communities. With over 5,000 taxa of tropical and sub-tropical plants to be found throughout our grounds, over seven miles of hiking trails, and an elevation gradient that starts at 450 feet and rises to 1850 feet above sea level, the Lyon Arboretum  has much to offer to all.

A vital resource for the University of Hawai’i system-wide,  Lyon Arboretum provides the scientific community with many research opportunities. As a cultural and community resource, we host approximately 50,000 visitors each year who participate in classes, research projects, volunteer and other community activities, or explore our extensive trails and plant collections.

Lyon Arboretum coordinates, facilitates, and executes research, instruction, and service activities that utilize its collections and resources. Its major emphases are tropical plants, native Hawaiian plants, conservation biology, and Hawaiian ethnobotany.

View our Strategic Plan for 2018-2023

The Arboretum is responsible for:

  • Developing a major resource center for tropical plants with Hawaii/Pacific Basin/Asian focus, by enhancing its living plant collection, and establishing an appropriate reference library and herbarium. Making its collections and information available to a broad clientele including students, researchers, industry, and the general public, by performing and disseminating the results of research, by appropriate outreach and educational activities, and through plant and seed exchange programs.
  • Serving as an outdoor laboratory for school and university students and classes.
  • Importing, identifying, improving through breeding, and introduction to the public, plants useful for horticulture, research, education, or industry.
  • Preserving and propagating germplasm of endangered plant species, especially those native to Hawaii. Special attention is given to the use of micropropagation and tissue culture technology in conservation of Hawaiian plants.
  • Developing a research and training program in restoration of Hawaiian ecosystems. Serving as a University field station for terrestrial biology and stream biology.

Facts About Lyon:

  • Area: 193.5 acres (78.3 hectares)
  • Elevation: 450 to 1850 feet (137 to 564 meters)
  • Average Temperature: 78° F; 25.6° C
  • Temperature: ranges from 52° F to 90° F; 11.1° C to 32.2° C
  • Average Rainfall: 165 inches annually; 4190 mm annually
  • Annual Rainfall: ranges from 90 to 210 inches; 2280 to 5330 mm