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Types of Hawaiian Flowers

By Sheri Engstrom ; Updated September 21, 2017
The Hawaiian Islands
wing of Hawaii image by Tomasz Pawlowski from Fotolia.com

The Islands of Hawai’i became the 50th state on August 23, 1959. The most known islands are the Big Island of Hawai’i, Maui, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, and the most famous Oahu. Oahu is home to the capital city Honolulu and the famous Waikiki Beach and Pearl Harbor. Hawai’i draws millions of tourists for its history and its incredible beauty. The tropical islands are home to the most beautiful and fragrant flowers.


Hibiscus is the Hawaii state flower.
flower - hibiscus image by Dagmara Czechowska from Fotolia.com

In 1988 the yellow hibiscus was adopted as the official state flower. The flower is native to the islands. Hibiscus has dark green leaves and flowers that will fall off within a day. The plants can grow to 15 feet tall. Flowers may be up to 6 inches in diameter with a wide variety of colors.


frangipanier image by Tadzio from Fotolia.com

In Hawai’i, Plumeria is grown as an ornamental. It’s easy to grow in warm areas and is found in Hawai’i from sea level to higher elevations. The highly fragrant flowers have five petals that form a “pinwheel” 2 to 3 inches in diameter.


orchid image by aga from Fotolia.com

Orchidaceae, or the orchid plant family, is one of the largest families of flowering plants. Orchids are divided into two growth types: monopodial and sympodial. Monopodial orchids have a central stem which grows from the tip. Flowers are produced from the stem between the leaves on each side. Sympodial orchids possess a rhizome which sends up a shoot. This develops into a stem, leaves, and eventually flowers. Orchids are commercially grown on several of the Hawaiian Islands.

Bird of Paradise Flower

Bird of Paradise
bird of paradise flower closeup image by David Grebow from Fotolia.com

Bird-of-paradise or crane flower (Strelitzia reginae) is closely related to the banana. The plant gets it name from its unique flower, which looks like a brightly colored bird in flight. The flower is a combination of blue petals and orange sepals that come out of a beak-like leaf.


Bougainvillea flowers
bougainvillea image by Tina Stumpp from Fotolia.com

The brightly colored parts of the bougainvillea plant are not the flowers but actually the leaves. The flower itself is very small and is in the middle of the colored leaf.


About the Author


Sheri Engstrom has been writing for 15 years. She is currently a gardening writer for Demand Studios. Engstrom completed the master gardener program at the University of Minnesota Extension service. She is published in their book "The Best Plants for 30 Tough Sites." She is also the online education examiner Minneapolis for Examiner.com.