Hawaiian alula plants growing amidst lava rocks
Plants

Hawaiian Native Plant Garden

At A Glance

  • Location: Asian Passage
  • The Hawaiian Islands have been called the endangered species capital of the world, with more endangered species per square mile than any place on Earth. To save the last remaining plants from extinction, many steps must be taken. The San Diego Zoo has developed a living exhibit showcasing some Hawaiian plants in hopes that people will become aware of the treasure we have in the flora of the Hawaiian Islands.

    Hawaii is the most remote archipelago in the world. Because of this, over the course of millions of years plants have evolved differently than in, for example, Africa or North America. Ocean currents, as well as birds, carried seeds from all points around the Pacific Ocean and distributed them onto the islands. These seeds colonized and then morphed into new species more suitable for this new land. Unfortunately, since the arrival of humans, native plants have been on the decline.

    At the San Diego Zoo we realize we have the ability to help save and preserve many species that are threatened in their native habitats. One of our efforts can be found at our Hawaiian Native Plant Garden, located at the top of Center Street. Some of the more notable species you will find here are: the koa tree Acacia koa, loulu palms Prichardia spp., and the cabbage on a stick plant Brighamia insignis.

    These are just a few of the plants we grow in the Hawaiian Native Plant Garden. There are some that we are unable to grow here in San Diego due to climate differences, but we are always adding new ones and growing species in our off-exhibit greenhouse. For us, it is a thrill to try to create an area in the Zoo that mimics the Hawaiian Islands, right down to the lava rocks!    

    Diner holding a glass or wine as they sit at a table with gourmet pizza.
    DINE IN THE HEART OF THE ZOO

    ALBERT'S RESTAURANT

    Black-footed cat
    ZOONOOZ

    A WIN FOR SPECIES CONSERVATION

    AND THE “OSCAR” GOES TO…
    Ring-tailed lemur and two small children jumping in front of a blue sky.
    GO WILD!

    KIDS FREE ALL OCTOBER

    Presented by Mission Federal Credit Union
    Hotel with pool
    Creature Comforts

    PREFERRED HOTELS