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Kahanu Garden facts for kids

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Kahanu Garden and Preserve is a botanical garden located on the Hana Highway (close to the 31-mile or 50-kilometre marker) near Hana, Maui, Hawaii. It is one of five gardens of the non-profit National Tropical Botanical Garden, the others being McBryde, Allerton, and Limahuli Garden and Preserve on Kauaʻi, and The Kampong in Florida.

The garden was established in 1972 on Maui's northern coast, with rugged black lava seascapes, and is surrounded by one of Hawaiʻi's last undisturbed hala (Pandanus tectorius) forests.

The garden's ethnobotanical collections focus on plants traditionally used by Pacific Island people. It includes the world's largest breadfruit collection, first established in the 1970s. Today the garden contains accessions of approximately 150 varieties of breadfruit collected from field expeditions to over 17 Pacific island groups in Polynesia, Micronesia, and Melanesia, as well as Indonesia, the Philippines, and the Seychelles. This collection is used for research and conservation by NTBG's Breadfruit Institute.

Other garden holdings include bamboo, banana, calabash, coconut, kava, kamani (Calophyllum inophyllum), loʻulu (Pritchardia arecina), sugarcane, taro, turmeric, vanilla, and bitter yam (Dioscorea bulbifera).

Kahanu Garden is open to visitors. An admission fee is charged.

Piʻilanihale Heiau

Piʻilanihale Heiau
Sketch of the heiau
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Nearest city Hāna, Hawaiʻi
Area 3 acres (12,000 m2)
NRHP reference No. 66000300
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Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966
Designated NHL January 29, 1964

Kahanu Garden also contains the 3-acre (12,000 m2) Piʻilanihale Heiau, a National Historic Landmark believed to be the largest ancient temple in the Hawaiian Islands. It is built from basalt blocks and extends 341 feet (104 m) by 415 feet (126 m), with a high front wall rising 50 feet (15 m). The large central terrace with two separate platforms is situated on a broad ridge that adds to its majesty. The side facing the sea rises steeply in five stepped terraces, and the upper rectangular surface of the main platform contains several smaller walled enclosures and pits, all bounded on the rear by a well-built stone wall up to 8 feet (2.4 m) high.

Construction of the main terrace dates back to the 14th century. Wings were later added and rededicated during the 16th century, possibly after high chief Piʻilani from western Maui conquered the beautiful, fertile, well-watered, and heavily populated Hāna region, thereby unifying the whole island.

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