Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, formerly known as the Maui Zoological and Botanical Gardens, is a 7-acre botanical garden located in the heart of bustling Kahului in Maui, Hawaii. It features an impressive collection of native and Polynesian-introduced plants, many of which were important crops throughout early Hawaiian history.
The garden is established by native Hawaiian botanist Rene Sylva in 1976 as a means of educating the public about the importance of preserving native plants and understand their significance in Hawaiian history and culture. Today, the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens is one of the most cherished gardens and a popular tourist atttraction in the island.
Maui Nui Botanical Gardens' collections include more than 40 sugarcane varieties, native poppies, variegated (striped) bananas, wild hibiscus, 15 varieties of sweet potato and 70 different taro varieties. Another noteworthy specimen in the garden is the anapanapa, a native plant that creates a natural shampoo when you rub it between your hands.
Amenities include a large greenhouse, picnic tables, restrooms, children's playground and a gift shop selling greeting cards, books, T-shirts and other souvenir items.
Maintained by a nonprofit organization supported by community memberships and grants, the garden works in partnership with local conservation groups such as the Hawaii Rare Plant Recovery Group and the Maui Invasive Species Committee. The garden hosts workshops in the use of native fibers and dyes and donates Hawaiian plants to a variety of wilderness restoration projects.
Maui Nui Botanical Gardens is located at 150 Kanaloa Avenue, Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. It is open Monday through Saturday, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Admission is free. Self-guided and guided tours are available for a fee (reservations required).