The National Tropical Botanical Garden (originally the Pacific Tropical Botanical Garden) was created by Congressional Charter as a not‐for‐profit institution, dedicated to tropical plant research, conservation and education.
The area is also a summer home for a former Hawaiʻi Queen, Queen Emma, now known as the historic Allerton Estate located near Poʻipū just past Spouting Horn. A naturally stunning loca?on, the Lāwaʻi Valley’s tropical splendor was nurtured by its famous owners. Queen Emma added her personal touch with the purple bougainvillea along the cliff walls. In 1937, the Allerton’s purchased the property and continued the vision of a stately garden paradise.
The NTBG is headquartered here at Lāwaʻi Kai. NTBG’s gardens and preserves are safe havens for at‐risk plant species that might otherwise disappear forever. There are two gardens at Lāwaʻi Kai, McBryde and Allerton Gardens. NTBG has the largest collection of endangered plant species in the world.
McBryde Garden has become a veritable botanical ark of tropical flora. It is home to the largest ex situ collection of native Hawaiian flora in existence, extensive plantings of palms, flowering trees, rubiaceae, heliconias, orchids and many other plants that have been wild‐collected from the tropical regions of the world. NTBG’s Conservation Program is based at this site and the Garden contains a state‐of‐the‐art horticulture and micro‐propagation facility.
Allerton Garden (Lāwa`i Kai) lies between the Pacific Ocean and the McBryde Garden in the Lāwa`i Valley.
A series of garden rooms unfold between the Lāwa`i Stream and the cliffs of the Valley. The sound of water is in abundance in pools, miniature waterfalls, and fountains. Statues grace this former estate and resonate with a European influence.
Research and education programs have been expanded over time; NTBG’s Breadfruit Institute was formed. In more recent years the institution has strengthened its commitment to native plant conservation and habitat restoration. While NTBG had long been conducting ethno‐botanical research, new emphasis was placed on perpetuating traditional knowledge.
National Tropical Botanical Garden is in the area of the former home of Queen Emma. She, was married to Alexander Liholiho, King Kamehameha IV. Inspired by watching her father’s work, a well know doctor, Emma encouraged her husband to help establish a public hospital; as a result, Queen’s Hospital opened in 1860 on Oʻahu. Queen Emma’s love for Kauaʻi’s natural beauty is exemplified in one of her favorite places, a beloved summer cottage on the south shore of the island. The beautiful and historic Allerton Estate located near Poʻipū just past Spouting Horn. A naturally stunning location, the Lāwaʻi Valley’s tropical splendor was nurtured by its famous owners. Queen Emma added her personal touch with the purple bougainvillea along the cliff walls.