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The Oahu Planting Guide was created as a resource to help residents select the right type of Hawaiian Plant to use in their climate zone on Oahu. Using the map and table shown below, select the climate zone that best fits your area. In the table below the map, the links provide a document for each zone with a list of appropriate plants displayed with scientific name, common/Hawaiian name, and its growing habit. They are organized according to their growth form (ie. Groundcover, Shrub, Tree). Most plants can be listed in more than one zone and can be planted in a variety of conditions.

oahu planting guide vegetation map

Zone Number Zone Description

oahu planting guide zone 1  Zone 1

Dry (0-47" annual rainfall)
Elevation <150ft
oahu planting guide zone 2  Zone 2 Dry (0-47" annual rainfall)
Elevation 150-1,000ft
oahu planting guide zone 3  Zone 3 Dry (0-47" annual rainfall)
Elevation 1,000-3,000ft
oahu planting guide zone 4  Zone 4 Mesic (48-98" annual rainfall)
Elevation <150ft
oahu planting guide zone 5  Zone 5 Mesic (48-98" annual rainfall)
Elevation 150-1,000ft
oahu planting guide zone 6  Zone 6 Mesic (48-98" annual rainfall)
Elevation 1,000-3,000ft
oahu planting guide zone 7  Zone 7 Wet (>98" annual rainfall)
Elevation <150ft
oahu planting guide zone 8  Zone 8 Wet (>98" annual rainfall)
Elevation 150-1,000ft
oahu planting guide zone 9  Zone 9 Wet (>98" annual rainfall)
Elevation 1,000-3,000ft

Some plants included in the Oahu Planting Guide may require wet conditions to grow. Please reference the Oahu Waterways list for more information.

ACKNOWLEGEMENTS:
The zones were created based on rainfall and elevation from data initially compiled by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services. BWS GIS staff revised the map in 2009. The plant information was gathered from the Manual of Flowering Plants of Hawaii by Warren L. Wagner, Derral R. Herbst, and S.H. Sohmer and from Hawaii's Ferns and Fern Allies by Daniel D. Palmer. The lists were compiled by Dr. Gregory Koob, who also provided plant information. The most recent scientific names, as updated by the Smithsonian Web site supplement to the Manual (as of April 2004), were used and these lists only include natives that were recorded to exist on Oahu. There may be other suitable Hawaiian plants that are not listed here because they were not historically found growing on Oahu. 

Many thanks to Forest and Kim Starr of the United States Geological Survey, Gregory A. Koob, and Amy Tsuneyoshi of the BWS for their contributions to the Oahu Planting Guide.

Some caveats to the planting list:

  • Some native plants listed in the planting guide are not commercially available at this time. The BWS recommends contacting a local nursery to see if a particular plant is available in your area.
  • The measurements given are approximations, conversions from meters, and rounded to the nearest whole number. They are considered the maximums, not necessarily the norms. Plants that have a wide range usually have that range due to environmental conditions (elevations, wind, stresses, etc.) but may just be a highly variable species.
  • There is a "Waterways list" to incorporate plants that require wet conditions to grow.
  • Federal and State listing status of threatened or endangered plants is not noted in the lists and will be added in the future when individual plant information and pictures are incorporated into this site.