Science & Conservation


The Science and Conservation Programs at National Tropical Botanical Garden supports our mission to enrich life by perpetuating tropical plants, ecosystems, and cultural heritage

Our collections include the largest assemblages of native Hawaiian plant species and breadfruit cultivars in existence, as well as herbarium (PTBG) and a conservation seed bank.

Many of the species in our collections are threatened and endangered or have disappeared from their native habitats

In our preserves and gardens, we build biocultural conservation programs that are founded in science, best practices, cultural values, and aligned with community priorities. We strive for horticultural excellence and best practice collections stewardship and offer education and public engagement opportunities that help deepen our relationships with plants.

We focus on implementing best science and biocultural conservation practices across our programs in collaboration with our communities and collaborators

This includes floristic surveys, a Pacific flora program, a GIS and drone program, conservation assessments, as well as effective biocultural conservation of plant and crop diversity at genetic species and agroecosystem scale in alignment with the Global Biodiversity Framework, Global Strategy for Plant Conservation and the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Biocultural Conservation and Science Programs

Biocultural Conservation and Science

Outcomes & Results

1. Fewer plant species threatened by extinction

2. More ecosystems restored to abundance

3. Conservation of tropical crop diversity and associated cultural knowledge

4. Preservation of cultural and historical sites, knowledge, and practices

5. Improved understanding of the origin and distribution of plant diversity

6. Comprehensive conservation assessments

7. Effective biocultural conservation approaches and tools


This extraordinary lei weaves together iconic plants with deep connections to people and places in our communities. Pāpala, lauaʻe o Makana fern, ʻālula, and kokiʻo keʻokeʻo are plants of Limahuli Garden & Preserve. Ylang ylang, a vine of Allerton Garden and The Kampong, threads throughout. The lei was created by Angelina Kissida.

Our Areas of Focus

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