Names of Tropical Flowers in Hawaii

The Hawaiian islands are known for tropical flowers attributed to the fertile soil, constant rainfall, sunshine and humidity year-round. There are dozens of diverse flowers, from pink cottage roses to the lei's ilima flower. Each island has flowers distinctive to its environment, culture and tradition, but there are several that also grow on all the islands that are well-known for tropical floral bouquets and photographic opportunities.


The ixora, (Ixora sp) grows on all the islands are are often planted as borders for streets, walkways and alongside beaches. They grow short and bushy in a variety of colors, including pink, white, coral, red, purple and yellow.

Golden Shower Tree

The golden shower tree (Cassia fistula) is very common. It resembles the weeping willow tree, but with flowers instead of brush. This flowering tree is very common in Hawaii, and has a strong aromatic scent during blooming season.


Since the 1920s, Hawaiians have adopted the hibiscus (hibiscus brackenridgei) as the state flower, particularly the yellow hibiscus. On the islands, it is also known as the pua aloalo. In 1988, the yellow hibiscus officially became the state flower.


The ilima is the flower best known for being used in the traditional Hawaiian lei. They resemble a smaller version of a hibiscus about 1 inch in diameter. The yellow ilima is the flower of Oahu. Not only are ilimas used for decoration and culture, the juice from the flowers is pressed out and given to children, pregnant women and the ill to promote good health and strength. They come in several colors, such as pink, purple, white, coral, red, yellow, indigo and orange.


The pink lokelani (Rosa damascena), or also known as the pink cottage rose, is the official flower of Maui. Since being brought to the islands in the 1800s, this rose is cherished for the aroma and natural beauty it brings to landscapes. It is planted especially around tourist areas and gardens. This flower is the only non-native tropical flower to be an official flower of any Hawaiian island.

Keywords: Hawaii flowers, tropical flowers, tropical flowers in Hawaii

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Lauren Wise is a journalism major from Arizona State University with over forty published magazine and media articles and over 400 Web site articles. Wise owns Midnight Publishing with over eight years experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food and wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in magazines including Runway, A2Z, Scottsdale Luxury Living and True West.