Bishop Museum - Checklist of Cultivated Plants of Hawai'i

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United States of America - Hawaii - Honolulu

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International Agenda Registration: No

BGCI Member: No

About the Bishop Museum - Checklist of Cultivated Plants of Hawai'i

Searchable online database can be found here:

This checklist was compiled between 1984 and 1999 in conjunction with the research for a book about the garden plants of the Hawaiian Islands—A Tropical Garden Flora (Staples & Herbst 2005). The checklist summarizes in outline form the number and identities of families, genera, and species of plants known to be cultivated in the Hawaiian Islands at the beginning of the twenty-first century. It serves as a companion to A Tropical Garden Flora and includes all the families, genera, and species covered in that book and many more besides. The checklist is updated from time to time as new information becomes available, thus it will evolve and change while the book remains static.

The plants enumerated in this checklist are those species grown for ornamental and landscape purposes by home gardeners. Plant categories included are shade trees, fruit and nut trees, street trees, palms, ornamentals of all types, lawn grasses, bamboos, ground covers, vegetables and herbs, cut flowers and those used to make lei, houseplants and container plants, and an array of specialty groups that are popular with hobbyists, such as orchids, bromeliads, succulents and cacti, aquatic plants for water gardens, heliconias and gingers, and others. In short, the focus is on species grown for amenity horticulture.

More than 2,100 species of plants included in the checklist have descriptions and further information in A Tropical Garden Flora (Staples & Herbst 2005) and/or In Gardens of Hawaii (Neal 1965). Links to specimen data and images are available through this website and more data are being added all the time.

What has been omitted from this checklist are all species not known to be deliberately cultivated in home gardens; these groups include weeds, forestry tree plantings, pasture and forage grasses, and native and naturalized species that exist outside of cultivation. References that provide detailed information about at least some of these plant groups include:

•Native and naturalized flowering plants, including many weeds: Wagner et al. (1999)
•Native and naturalized ferns and fern allies (pteridophytes): Palmer (2003)
•Trees planted for reforestation: Little & Skolmen (1989)
•Agricultural weeds: Motooka et al. (2003), Haselwood & Motter (1983)
•Pasture and forage grasses: Rotar (1968), Herbst & Clayton (in prep.)

Colleagues in the botanical gardens and arboreta of Hawai‘i who made collection inventory information and/or voucher specimens available include: Honolulu Botanical Gardens (Z. Ellshoff, C. Mayeda, S. Medbury, S. Mitamura, J. Sand, W. Singeo, R. Tajima, P. Weissich, N. Wong); Harold L. Lyon Arboretum (R. Baker, R. Cooray, B. Hirano, C. Lamoureux, K. Nagata, Y. Sagawa, K. Shigematsu); National Tropical Botanical Garden (B. Barkevitch, M. Chapin, T. Flynn, L. Hume, D. Lorence, D. Ragone); and the Waimea Arboretum (S. Gerum Black, B. Garnett, D. Orr, E. Purple, K. Woolliams). Likewise we received information, specimens, and/or funding support for this checklist from Alexander’s Nursery, H. Eunice Nursery, Frankie’s Nursery, Hawaii Association of Nurserymen, Hawaiian Botanical Society, E. Horikawa, A. Kadowaki, Leilani Nursery, Marugame Nursery, J. and C. McCall, Charles Nii Nursery, S. Nii Nursery, Oahu Nursery Growers Association, Oka Nursery and Landscaping, B. Suenaga, University of Hawaii Cooperative Extension Service (N. Bezona, R. Criley, S. Fukuda, E. Mersino, F. Rauch, D. Sato, M. Takemoto, M. Wong) , and the Waimea Arboretum Foundation.

Main Address:
Bishop Museum - Checklist of Cultivated Plants of Hawai'i
1525 Bernice Street
Hawaii 96817 United States of America

Telephone: (808) 848-4181
Fax: (808) 841-8968
Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Clyde Imada, Research Specialist
    Curator's Name:
    Plant Records Officer's Name:

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Network
  • Physical Data
  • Latitude: 21.3331260
    Longitude: -157.8694760
    Altitude: 0.00 Metres

Features and Facilities

Plant Collections

Conservation Programmes

Research Programmes

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