Sea creatures are the typical stars of big aquariums. But at the Waikiki Aquarium in Honolulu, experts want you to check out the plants, and they aren’t talking about seaweed.
Visitors now receive a Hawaiian Plant Tour brochure when they pick up their free audio wands or take a docent-led tour at the aquarium. The self-guided tour points you to indigenous flora found growing on the grounds outside the tanks.
Why the push about plants? It’s an opportunity to explain the direct link between flora and ocean life.
For example, the kukui (candle nut) produces nuts rich in an oil that fishermen use to clear the ocean waters, a news release says.
Bark, roots and leaves from a shrub called akia release a narcotic that fishermen use to stun fish. There’s also the milo (portia) tree, whose flowers resemble the open mouth of a moray eel.
The self-guided Hawaiian Plant Tour includes a map showing where various species are located as well as facts about each one.
The aquarium is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is $12 for adults and $5 for seniors and kids 4 to 12 years old. It’s located along Waikiki Beach at 2777 Kalakaua Ave., across the street from Kapiolani Park.
Founded in 1904, Waikiki Aquarium is among the oldest aquariums in the U.S.
Info: Waikiki Aquarium, (808) 923-9741