Adventures in Floral Paradise by Sandie McClure

One of the most memorable places I visited during my recent trip to the Hawaiian Islands was the Maui Tropical Plantation.  It is located in the Waikapu area of Maui.  (The island of Maui is shaped like the upper torso of a woman, and the Plantation is in the neck area.)  Our narrated tour on a tram made several stops for taking pictures.  The 60-acre working plantation grows a variety of crops–papaya, guava, mango, macadamia nuts, coffee, avocado, bananas, sugar cane, and star fruit.  We had views of the Haleakala Crater from the Plantation.

The Plantation had a variety of flowers in all directions.  We saw poinsettias, heliconia, plumeria, hibiscus, orchids, bougainvillea, and others that I couldn’t identify.  The yellow hibiscus is the state flower, and the leis we received on landing in Honolulu were of white plumeria.

The guide for our tram ride shared a lot of information with us.  I was fascinated to learn that sugarcane takes two years to mature, and one ton of water is needed to produce a single pound of sugar. Hawaii produces the only commercial coffee crop in the United States.  Mango trees take five years to bear fruit but will produce for 100 years.  It takes 300 pounds of pressure per square inch to crack the ¼”-thick shell of the Macadamia nut.  Pineapples ripen from the bottom up.  Each trunk of the dwarf Brazilian apple bananas bears only one stalk in its lifetime.  Heliconia range from 3 inches to 20 inches and come in nearly every color of the rainbow.

I had always wanted to visit Hawaii so this was a very special vacation for me.   I hope to return there on some future trip and spend more time exploring the beauty and wonder of this tropical paradise.

The pictures from Sandie’s trip will be available shortly in the picture gallery.