How to Identify Tropical Hawaiian Flowers


Home to hundreds of flower species, the Hawaiian Islands are known for lush vegetation and bright, large flower species. Since Hawaii has a tropical climate, most of the flowers are tropical as well, requiring lots of rainfall, sunshine and fertile soil. Tropical Hawaiian flowers are ideal for bouquets, arrangements, cooking and creating leis, along with providing sheer visual enjoyment. When identifying tropical Hawaiian flowers, it is important to consider the size, colors and foliage.

Step 1

Look at the flower and petal shape. Flowers in this region often have large, unique shapes. An example is the bird of paradise, which has a large orange "beak" and blue flowers, Heliconia's flower is shaped like a crab claw in orange and yellow. Some flowers from trees even fall downward in shapes like turrets, such as the golden shower tree.

Step 2

Examine the texture of the flower's leaves and foliage. In Hawaii, vegetation grows large, thick and lush from overabundance. The thick texture can appear leathery or smooth and shiny. For example, the banana passion fruit plant has thick, leathery leaves that are blackish-green and glossy, while the bird of paradise has thick, smooth leaves that are rigid.

Step 3

Look closely at and poke around in the flower petals. Most of the tropical flowers in this region, such as the hibiscus or orchid, have five to six petals.

Step 4

Observe the leaves, since most tropical Hawaiian flowers have oval- or banana-shaped leaves, ranging in color from light lime to dark--almost black--green. Leaves are usually either large or plentiful, and it is not uncommon for the foliage to be several feet long or wide.

Step 5

Take notice of any bold and bright colors on the flower. The most common trademark of tropical flowers are the colors, ranging from scarlet red, yellow, coral, fuschia, indigo, green, striped, patterned, purple, blue and cream.


  • ALoha-Hawaii: Island Flowers
  • University of Wisconsin: Getting Started With Orchids
  • Trade Winds Fruit: Hawaiian Plants
Keywords: identifying tropical flowers, Hawaiian flowers, finding Hawaiian flowers

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.