Hawaii is often dubbed as a slide of heaven on Earth. With its lush green majestic mountains, picturesque sandy beaches, and spectacular waterfalls, Hawaii will leave you in awe of its scenic landscapes and breathtaking views.
A lot of the Hawaiian landscape is filled with unique flowers that are native only to Hawaii.
These flowers elevate the beautiful scenery and provide a vibrant and colorful backdrop to the Hawaiian terrain.
There are over 20 distinct flowers that are part of the Hawaiian flora and play a crucial role in the Hawaiian ecosystem.
If you’re a flower enthusiast and want to learn more about Hawaiian flowers, stick around because this article will be all about flowers unique to Hawaii and their characteristics.
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Exotic Flowers Unique to Hawaii
Hawaii’s warm and humid tropical climate is perfect for various species of plants and flowers to thrive. Let’s briefly examine some of the most popular and unique Hawaiian flowers.
Ohi’a Lehua is a beautiful flower that is endemic to Hawaii. It is abundant during the spring season and varies in color.
Its color can range from deep pink, orange, and yellow to pearly white.
The flower itself is a cluster of stamens that bunch together to give its distinct look.
It is said that the Red Lehua was the first flower to grow on the barren Island after volcanic eruptions and is since heavily linked with the volcano Goddess.
Click here to watch the ancient folklore tale associated with this flower!
The flowers you often see Hawaiian women wear as jewelry on their ears are almost always Plumeria.
This flower is abundant across the Hawaiian islands and thrives in Hawaii’s humid climate and volcanic soil.
Plumerias are found in various colors, from pink, purple, yellow, and orange to white.
Plumerias have a profound fragrance that is usually detectable at night. A fun fact about Plumeria is that it is not native to Hawaii; it was brought to Hawaii in 1860 and has since exploded across the Islands.
Bird of Paradise
The Bird of Paradise is a unique flower that is mesmerizing to look at. It is characterized by its tall stems and flowers that look like a bird in mid-flight.
The petals are blue and purple that are arranged in a combination that makes them look like wings on a bird.
You will find this flower in many bouquet arrangements across Hawaii, and it is also a popular houseplant due to its shape and size.
The Hawaiian Hibiscus is also known as the Ma’o Hau Hele in the native language.
It is Hawaii’s national flower, rightly so because its elegance is unmatched. It is found in various colors, white, pink, yellow, and red.
The Hibiscus blooms almost daily, and the flowers last a couple of days before new flora replaces them.
Sadly, the Hawaiian Hibiscus is now listed as an endangered flower and is grown chiefly for decorative purposes.
Pikake is the Hawaiian name for Jasmine, an extremely popular flower on the Islands. It is used for its fragrance and to make bracelets for brides and belly dancers. Pikake blooms throughout the year but is most productive in the summer.
Alulu is a unique native plant of Hawaii. It has light pink to white petals with yellow stamens in the middle.
It blooms from early spring to summer and is a popular plant on the Islands. A fun fact about Alulu is that it is a relic plant that has survived from a primitive period. This makes it highly unique and exciting.
Unfortunately, Alulu is drifting towards the endangered zone, and efforts are being made for its preservation.
Ilima is a gorgeous yellow to orange five-petalled flower that is Oahu’s official flower (a small Hawaii island).
This wildflower can be found on various terrains like forests, coastlines, and mountains. Ilima is also known as the Black Coral, and you might just come across one on a hike in Hawaii.
The Naupaka is native to Hawaii and has a unique, elegant shape. It has four white petals arranged like a semi-circle with a yellow bulbous stamen in the middle.
Naupaka is found on the beaches and the mountains, with the mountain variety being much more fragrant.
Nanu, also known as the Hawaiian Gardenia, is native to Hawaii. It boasts elegant white six-petalled flowers.
Unfortunately, Nanu has become endangered in recent years due to habitat destruction. It only grows on a few islands now.
The Pua Kala is another indigenous flower of Hawaii. They boast thin paper-like white petals with bright yellow stamen centers.
These attractive-looking plants bloom throughout the year, but the flowers only last for a day.
The Pau Kala is also referred to as the Hawaiian Poppy and is unique in that it can survive a fire.
The Ko’oloa’ula is native to Hawaii and grows as a flowering shrub. It boasts gorgeous small flowers that range from red, pink, deep pink, purple, and maroon to off-white.
This species is considered critically endangered and is now only found in the islands of Lana’i, Maui, and O’ahu.
The islands of Hawaii have an ecosystem and flora that is unique and not found anywhere else in the world.
If you ever get the chance to visit these picturesque islands you’ll be able to truly appreciate the natural beauty and plethora of vibrant flowers scattered across Hawaii.
It is crucial that we work towards the preservation of these species that are rapidly declining due to climate change and habitat destruction.
If you do visit Hawaii you’ll even be able to identify and acknowledge the different varieties of exotic flowers after reading this article!
Ask Away: The FAQ Section
Plumeria is the most popular flower in Hawaii.
Cyanea heluensis is not a flower, but a plant native to West Maui. It is valued for its rarity and unique features.
This is a relatively new plant as it was founded in 2010 and named recently in 2020.
If you want to have a look at new plants discovered in the year 2020, click here!
The most fragrant of all Hawaiian flowers is yet again, Plumeria.
The Haleakalā silversword plant is extremely scarce in quantity. It grows only in Hawaii, and its growth is confined to a small area.