Hawaii’s native flora lend to the island’s colorful beauty and enhance the palette of blues, greens and reds. Multi-colored flowers, fragrances wafting in the air and both structures and people dressed up with touches of flowers create a scene of inviting views.
Everyday use of flowers appeal to both residents and visitors, from the simplicity of a table centerpiece at an eatery to gorgeous dream weddings. The lei greeting itself is a charm that makes everyone stop to see, smell and appreciate tropical blooms.
The orchid is broadly considered Hawaii’s primary flower, unofficially, and its rare and luxurious image make it a top pick for weddings, hair adornments and as a plant. Yellow, lavender, red, white and orange are a few colors. You’ll find them in a bouquet, in the bride’s hair and in leis. Visit Akatsuka Orchid Gardens in Volcano on Big Island to check out a grand collection of orchids. Also check out Foster Botanical Garden on Oahu; it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Explore the historic Foster Botanical Garden in Honolulu from one of our nearby Kahala vacation rentals.
Plumeria (also frangipani, melia, temple tree) is a small tree that grows various flower colors, including white and shades of red, pink and yellow. It’s the main lei-making flower and is very fragrant, but only for a few days. See plumeria at the Koko Crater Botanical Garden, 60-acre basin inside Koko Crater on Oahu’s East Side.
Also, check out the Koko Crater Botanical Garden nearby our Kailua vacaion rentals on Oahu East Side.
Heliconia are another popular plant that is native to South America but found throughout Hawaii. The fiery red and fascinating nickname, lobster claw, make it a tropical favorite. A less dominant name is bird of paradise, a more apt name for this plant on a tropical island. You’ll find it throughout Hawaii, at the National Tropical Botanical Garden (Kauai, Maui, Big Island), Maui’s Garden of Eden and decorative gardens throughout the islands.
Maui’s Garden of Eden is a great place to see Hawaii’s native flora, including Heliconia, and our Wailea vacation rentals are a great place to relax on your Maui vacation.
Ginger makes the list for the five most popular flowers in Hawaii. Blue, pink, white or yellow with red flair, ginger has decorative and medicinal purposes. It is another one of the flowers on the islands with multiple uses and places you’ll find—weddings, resident gardens, botanical gardens and as ingredients in spa treatments. Kahili ginger is a spring bloom and pink is often found in floral arrangements year-round. White ginger is often compared to orchids. Nani Mau Gardens in Hilo offers tours with plenty of flowers, including a Ginger Garden.
Hibiscus is the Hawaii state flower. A longtime tradition on the island is to wear it in one’s hair and when worn on the right, it means one is single and available. Sadly, it’s an endangered plant but is found on Lanai, Maui and Big Island. The hibiscus flowers are colorful and you’ll find a Hibiscus Garden at Nani Mau Gardens. A neat fact about the hibiscus is that it blooms almost daily but lasts for just a day, so just like time on the islands, appreciate this flower in the moment.
Planning a vacation to the Big Island? Check out the Ginger Garden and Hibiscus Garden at the Nani Mau Gardens. For your stay take a look at our Kona vacation rentals.