I have landed in Chicago!
All of these photos save the last were taken on the grounds of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden north of Hilo. In a few cases I knew (or learned) what the plants were, and the others I’ll leave to readers to identify. I’ll number the photos, though, to help you with your IDs.
The garden is in a seaside valley that was previously used as a farm, producing mainly sugar cane. As Wikipedia notes:
The garden is located in a scenic valley opening out to Onomea Bay, and features streams, waterfalls and a boardwalk along the ocean. It was created by Dan J. Lutkenhouse, who purchased the property in 1977 and began to develop it as a botanical garden. It opened to the public in 1984, and was donated by the Lutkenhouses to a nonprofit trust in 1995.
Today the garden contains over 2,000 plant species, representing more than 125 families and 750 genera, with good collections of palms (nearly 200 species), heliconias (more than 80 species), and bromeliads (more than 80 species). Some of the garden’s mango and coconut palm trees are over 100 years old.
It’s well worth a visit if you are a plant lover, though admission is not cheap.
This is beehive ginger Zingiber spectabile, with the source of its name obvious.
Banana flower with fetal bananas:
Plant #2 (some kind of Heliconius, I think):
Plant #5, clearly an orchid:
Plant #6 (another Heliconius?):
Leaf close-ups. Plant #8:
The cannonball tree (Couroupita guianensis), native to Central and South America. The flowers are lovely, and the fruits just weird. They are edible to humans, but are said to have an unpleasant odor. They’re eating by livestock.
A different cannonball tree with more flowers:
In the small garden museum, there’s a duck carved by one of the Japanese inhabitants who worked in the valley before it was made into a garden:
And the nearby Akaka Falls, 442 feet (135 meters) high, nestled in a lovely little valley. Read at the link about the endemic fish that climbs the falls: