Hilo Botanical Garden
Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden at Hilo

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Locator Map: A white rectangle denotes the area north of Hilo on the central east shore of the Big Island.
This garden was in a steaming jungle at the bottom of a very steep, winding 500 ft. ramp. The kid they had minding the store tried to tell us, "No dogs allowed, not even guide dogs." But when we informed him that was against the law, he talked to his boss, who said the dog was all right as long as we kept it away from their precious tropical birds. Bella would have put her tail between her legs and run if she'd seen any of those birds, but we stayed away from them anyway.
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Maria in white t-shirt and tan shorts, her face a bit washed out by the sun, stands with forearms draped over a railing in front of a steep drop-off, with black lab Bella in harness at her side.
Maria looks out over a deep gorge carved by the ocean at the seashore end of the
garden's trail.

White torrents of water tumble down over moss-covered black volcanic rock in multiple zig-zag steps from a distant height into a nearby brown pool.
This waterfall is near the bottom of the long, steep ramp that we had to walk
down to get into the garden.

A thicket of brightly variegated, deeply textured leaves in oranges, yellows, and greens surrounding several thin stalks stands before a cluster of ferns and several tall grey tree trunks.
I don't know what these are, but they sure are pretty.

A large, craggy dark-grey rock, its base a larger tan, rises out of white sea foam and blue ocean water; beyond the water a massive grey and red rock cliff, obscured by hanging foliage, fills the view.
This is what you see if you look to the right of Maria in the picture above.

White foam and blue water lap against a low, sharp spur of black volcanic rock on three sides; beyond this stands a grey and red rock cliff, almost completely covered with green bushes.
This view is just a bit to the left of the previous picture.

Clusters of small flowers whose round petals are purple in front and white in back, nestle amidst long narrow leaves rising from whitish grey roots clinging to brown stone.
I believe these are orchids.

A bright red flower with multiple veiny, paper-thin vertical leaf-like petals, in close-up against textured oval green leaves and grey branches.
I believe this is red "ginger". We saw this same plant in the botanical garden on Kauai.

Behind single-stalked broad, flat green leaves, a bushy dark-green oval-leafed plant bears a dozen or so vertical red flowers.
The uppermost flower in this picture is featured in the close-up photo above.

Dusty dark pink teardrop-shaped pods hang down, vaguely resembling huge closed zippers, between long vertical olive-green stalks.
Many tropical plant seed pods follow this general plan, with the pods more or less
tightly packed together. I don't know what it's called, but it's striking.

Small flowers with pale pink outer petals and bright purple inner petals cluster among large long, narrow spiky leaves.
I think these are orchids also.

Small flowers with six petals, almost perfectly white but with a hint of green at the center, cluster among narrow green spotted leaves.
More orchids.

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