Millions of people depend upon the banana for food, shade, fiber, forage and economic stability. It has played a central role in Native Hawaiian culture.
So the banana fittingly plays a central role in a new Lyon Arboretum exhibit highlighting biodiversity and the importance of preserving cultural plants.
No End to the Banana runs June 5–30 at the arboretum, which is part of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. The award winning exhibit is designed by Biodiversity International. It has been featured at British and American venues including the Royal Botanic Garden and Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Florida.
The opening reception on Friday, June 5, 4–8 p.m., will feature a demonstration using dwarf apple bananas, tour of the exhibition, banana tasting and light pupus. Cost is $5 in advance or $8 at the door; call (808) 988-0461 to make a reservation.
Activities for the public opening on Saturday, June 6 include a lecture by Maui banana authority Angela Kay Kepler on bananas as rare Polynesian heirlooms. A market will feature local bananas and banana products including banana shave ice. Children’s activities will run throughout the day.
Scot Nelson, an associate specialist in plant disease and pest prevention in UH Mānoa’s College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, will talk about cultivation and care of bananas for home and commercial growers at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 27.