Hawaiian Natives

The Hawaiian archipelago is one of the most remote island chains in the world. Millions of years of isolation from other land masses have led to the evolution of an incredibly unique flora, with many plants which are found nowhere else. The volcanic landscapes of these islands are stunning and diverse, hosting a wide range of habitat types in a very small area. While the beauty and uniqueness of Hawaiian plants is exceptional, they are under threat from climate change, habitat loss and non-native species which compete for light, water and resources. A strong community of plant conservationists are working hard to preserve the unique plants of Hawai’i, often through direct human intervention such as removing non-natives, reintroducing natives, and maintaining seed banks of rare species.

The beds of our Hawaiian Garden are built of volcanic stone which resemble dry lava flows, and native Pritchardia palms and Hibiscus trees can be seen here. A grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust has allowed for renovation of the irrigation system in this area. Garden staff are planning extensive new plantings throughout the Hawaiian Garden. A major focus will be on plants from the drier leeward sides of the islands, which are more adapted to the climate of Los Angeles than plants from other parts of the islands.


The UCLA Mildred E. Mathias Botanical Garden acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). As a promoter of nature at a California land grant institution, we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

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