Gifts, Hawaii

Top 9 Gifts from Hawaii that Anyone Will Love

Hawaiian ukulele gifts

Top 9 Gifts from Hawaii that Anyone Will Love

If you’re about to travel to Hawaii, read this post.

Hawaii is one of the most beautiful and exotic places in the entire world, so if you’re one of the lucky few that gets to visit, you should enjoy it. Nothing can quite encapsulate a trip to one of its incredible islands. Everyone you know; friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, will all be jealous of you.

It’ll be hard not to rub it in when you get back. You’ll want to talk about the amazing experiences you had and whoever you’re telling will wish they could walk a day in your shoes. For their sake, you should bring them back a gift.

When you’re there, it’ll be hard to think of what to get since you’ll be so focused on having the time of your life. That’s why we’re here. In this post, we’re going to tell you the top 9 gifts from Hawaii that anyone and everyone will love.

They can’t come to Hawaii with you, but maybe you can bring a little piece of Hawaii back for them. Let’s get started.

The Best Gifts From Hawaii

What makes a good Hawaiian gift? It should represent the spirit of the islands, but it should also represent the time that you had there. There are a lot of stereotypical gifts that might come to mind, but you should avoid bringing back too many floral shirts.

You should consider who you’re buying for, as well. Try to inspire them to make their own trip to Hawaii one day.

1. Artwork

Hawaiian artwork has a very distinctive style that is hard to reproduce elsewhere. Get some prints or go to a local art fair and purchase a one-of-a-kind piece from an artisan. There are so many talented artists living in Hawaii, you won’t have a hard time finding something.

Reproductions of classic Hawaiian prints are available at many shops, so you can easily get an 8×10 and roll it up to take on the plane back home.

2. Maui Wine

In your travels, you might end up at an incredible winery called Maui Wine. They do tours and tastings, which makes for a wonderful island afternoon. While you’re there, you could pick up a bottle of their famous “Maui Splash” pineapple wine. It’s delicious and made with handpicked Maui gold pineapples.

You may want to grab more than one bottle in case the one you plan on gifting suddenly disappears. This would make a great gift for the parents.

3. Jewelry

Hawaii isn’t just known for their visual art. It’s home to many artisans of all trades and one of the things they’re famous for is their beautiful island jewelry. Island jewelry is usually inspired by nature or comes directly from nature.

The Tahitian Pearl has an interesting gray color and works well on a necklace, while the Opihi and Ni’ihau shells make for great earrings. Get your spouse or child a rare piece of jewelry that they could only possibly find in Hawaii.

4. Coffee

Did you know that Hawaii is the only state in America where coffee is both grown and harvested? Now you do. The most famous coffee company in Hawaii is Kona Coffee, grown in the (you guessed it) Kona district, on the big island.

If you’re more interested in supporting the little guy, then you’ll be happy to know that there are around 700 coffee farms in Hawaii growing award-winning specialty coffees. Luckily, you don’t have to travel to all of them to get a bag of beans. Many are readily available in grocery stores and specialty shops.

5. Hawaiian Sea Salt

Anytime you’re visiting a coastal region, you should try their local sea salts. Hawaii is no different, as they produce and sell loads of sea salt. You can get it in its original flavor, but they also experiment a lot by adding different peppers and spices to create unique flavors.

The Native Hawaiian population use “alaea”, which is a naturally occurring red sea salt to ceremonial bless places and events. If you can get your hands on some of this, it would make a great gift for someone interested in Hawaiian culture.

6. Koa Wood

Koa trees can only be found in Hawaii, which means that you can get some truly unique carvings made from the wood of the Koa. Anything carved from Koa wood makes for a perfect Hawaiian gift, as no two things will ever be the same.

You can basically get Koa carved everything. Go to a shop and you’ll see pens, plates and bowls, picture frames, vases, and furniture. Choose something small that will fit in your suitcase.

7. Ukulele

The ukulele was introduced to Hawaiians by way of the Portuguese immigrants in the early 20th century. Based on the guitar, it’s been used in countless recordings and has become recognized as an unofficial instrument of the Hawaiian islands.

While they aren’t particularly portable as a gift, you can make one of your kids very happy with this uniquely Hawaiian gift. If you bring one home, you can be soothed by the nylon-stringed sounds of the island all of the time. What better way to reminisce about your trip?

8. Chinese Seeds

Despite their name, Chinese seeds have a special place in Hawaiian culture. They were introduced in the 19th century when Chinese sugar plantation workers came over to Hawaii. They’re dried and salted seeds of different fruits that you can find in most grocery stores, but you’ll struggle to find them elsewhere in America.

They make for an easy-to-pack but thoughtful gift for someone interested in world cuisine. There are many to choose from, so head to a seed shop and ask a clerk to give you a hand.

9. Handmade Lei

One of the classic images that the mention of Hawaii conjures is of those beautiful handmade lei’s. We’re not talking about the fake ones that you get in mainland America, but lei’s that are made by hand with fresh Hawaiian flowers.

The beauty of the lei (besides literal beauty) is that there’s one for any occasion. If your daughter is graduating, there’s a lei for that. If your husband got a promotion, there’s a lei for that too. Choose from one of the many colors of fresh orchids, wait a week, and have the perfect Hawaiian gift to bring back for your loved ones.

Don’t Think Too Hard

You don’t have to overthink it. Choose one of these thoughtful and beautiful gifts from Hawaii and all the jealousy will fade away from your loved ones and turn into appreciation. Just make sure that you bring your family on your next Hawaiian vacation…

To order your custom, handmade lei, click here. We make specialty lei’s, flower arrangements, and gift baskets for any and every occasion. Bring a piece of Hawaii to someone’s life today.

Gifts

11 Classic Graduation Presents Your Loved One Will Adore

11 Classic Graduation Presents Your Loved One Will Adore

Depending on what degree and what college they chose to attend, your loved one most likely spent at least four years getting their degree.

Not only did it take a lot of time, but also a lot of energy to finish their degree.

A graduation is an important milestone that deserves a proper reward. Here are the very best classic graduation presents that are guaranteed to please.

1. A Carry on or Suitcase

Maybe after graduation, the former student is planning some kind of trip or vacation.

Getting them a set of suitcases or a carry on may be a nice, thoughtful, and useful gift. Not only will they be able to use it on this rewarding trip, but they can also use it on any future vacation or work trips.

If your loved one is in college but not planning a vacation, they may still need a way to move back home. Giving them a suitcase will give them an easy way to pack up all their belongings.

2. Weighted Blanket

College can be stressful, but the transition into life after college can be tough as well.

The transition period can be difficult and cause a lot of anxiety and stress. However, a weighted blanket is good at combating that.

Whether you’re just watching TV on the couch or trying to fall asleep in bed, a weighted blanket makes you feel more relaxed and calm. There are all kinds of different weighted blankets, but a good rule of thumb is to buy one that is 10 percent of your weight.

3. A Firestick

After college, your student may be picked off of their parent’s cable or other streaming subscriptions.

Getting them a Firestick from Amazon for their TV is one of the best new ways to make sure that they can still catch up on all of their favorite shows.

It’s super easy to install and can be used on most TVs.

4. Photo Collage

Your recent college graduate probably made a lot of memories during their time there. To commemorate a chapter ending, you can gift them a cool photo collage of all their favorite pictures.

When they move out of their dorm room, they can hang it up in their new place to remember all the fun that they had in between studying.

5. Instant Pot

Now that they’re done with college, they will need a way to make meals for themselves since there won’t be a cafeteria in their dorm room.

With a job, they will also have more money for real meals, not just ramen noodles and PB&J sandwiches.

The Instant Pot is great because it’s a pressure cooker that can do all kinds of things, like slow cooking, sauteing, steaming, or even making other things from scratch.

6. Gift Basket and Flowers

One of the classic graduation presents is a gift basket or flowers. You can never go wrong with these, and they will never go out of style.

You can either send them a small bouquet to let them know how proud of them you are, or you can send them a giant gift basket to celebrate their special day.

One of the other great things about this is that most services offer delivery so you don’t have to actually carry it around all day at the ceremony.

7. Coffee Maker

While they may not have any more 8 a.m. classes, they may have to get up even earlier to go to their new job.

Having coffee readily available would be a great gift to help them start every morning of their new job refreshed.

With a Keurig, they won’t have to spend a lot of time making a cup of coffee; they can set it to brew and then take it to work and be able to leave on time.

8. Blue Apron Subscription

If you don’t want to get them an Instapot, you could also get them a Blue Apron subscription.

This is a great service that delivers all the ingredients you need to make a meal. There are many different options and subscriptions you can get, but their two-person meal plan is one of their most popular ones.

If your grad never learned how to cook before, this is a great way to show them how to do it. They can use the service and cut down from having to deal with grocery shopping.

It is also a cool, interactive way to finally learn how to cook. It’s also a great way to find healthy meals to eat instead of eating cafeteria food every day.

9. Amazon Prime Subscription

College students get a great deal on an Amazon Prime subscription, but unfortunately once they graduate, that deal ends.

Gifting them a membership is a great way to keep their subscription going. Amazon Prime is something that they can use every day and that has so many benefits.

One year of Amazon Prime is $99.

10. A Nice Watch

Now that they are graduated from college and possibly working in an office environment, you could get them a nice watch to go with their business attire.

A nice watch is a great gift because it is something that the grad may not have had enough money to buy themselves but is something they always wanted.

Some watches can be expensive, but if you know your graduate, you may know what kind of style they may like.

11. Best Self Co. Journal

Graduating college can be fun and exciting, but it can be overwhelming as well. Going to college becomes a lifestyle, and it will take some adjusting to get used to being in the workforce.

However, a good way to go through this transition is by writing things down. The Best Self Co. Journal is one of the best ones.

This journal helps you map our your five or ten-year plans and help you list out different ways that you can achieve those goals.

Buy These Graduation Presents Today

Buying graduation presents can be difficult, but these are some great ideas to start off with.

No matter what you get them, your grad will most likely love it.

Start shopping for the perfect gift today.

Care Instructions, DIY and How To

Fresh Flower Leis: How to Preserve a Lei

Fresh Flower Leis: How to Preserve a Lei

In ancient Hawaii, people exchanged leis as a token of affection and a religious symbol. Today, the lei is an enduring tradition. But though the tradition lives on, the lei itself won’t last forever –unless you know how to preserve it.

Wondering how to preserve a lei? No matter what experience gave you the lei, it’s probably a special token that you want to keep as long as you can. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to maintain fresh flower leis — read on to learn more!

Why Preserve Hawaiian Flower Leis?

Wondering why the Hawaiian flower lei feels so special?

Hawaiian leis are more than just pretty decorations. They actually have different symbolic meanings, depending on the materials used. Here are just a few of the meanings a lei can have. Which kind of lei will you preserve?

Royal Accessory

Some leis were specifically meant for royalty throughout Hawaiian history.

Traditionally, the royal lei used materials more permanent than flowers. They often included polished kukui nuts, shells, feathers, or other natural materials. These long-lasting leis symbolize power and prestige.

Peacemakers

A green flowering vine called maile can be twisted into a lei. This kind was once used as a peace offering.

These green-colored leis still thrive today at many modern events, though, including graduations and weddings. They can also be livened up with the addition of other colored flowers.

Leis of Love

For a blatantly romantic lei, carnations in shades of red, pink, or white work perfectly. These are also popular at weddings, anniversaries, and other events that call for romance. Other romantic leis might use the red and orange ilima flower.

Floral Appreciation

To show a gesture of gratitude or of welcoming, orchids are the flower of choice. These leis tend to come in vibrant colors like green, purple, or white. As a visitor to the islands, you might get this kind of lei as a welcome when you arrive.

Fiery Flower Leis

If you make the trek to the Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, you might get a lei made of red or yellow lehua flowers. These leis represent the Hawaiian fire goddess Pele.

History of the Lei

Another reason leis are so special is because of their fascinating cultural history. Let’s take a look at how leis have been a part of Hawaiian culture through the years.

Historians think leis originally came from the Tahitians who sailed to Hawaii, bringing their local customs with them. Leis soon translated into the culture of the islands, taking on meanings like the ones described above. Some leis, like the royal leis and the peace-giving maile leis, had more serious meanings than others.

When the tourism industry started to take off in Hawaii, leis became an easy way for travel companies to welcome visitors with something local and unique. Although many of those travelers didn’t know the meanings behind the leis they received, flowers as a gift is an almost universally appreciated token.

For many years, almost every airport handed a lei to travelers once they arrived on the islands. While the custom is less common at airports now, Hawaiian visitors often get leis as part of events or ceremonies they might visit during their stay.

How to Preserve a Lei: Your Step-by-Step Guide

Lei etiquette means always accepting a lei when it’s offered, and not taking it off while the person who gifted it to you is still there. However, when the time comes to take off your lei, you won’t want to get rid of it right away. Here’s how to preserve real flower leis.

Short-Term Preservation

With these steps, you can keep your lei looking fresh for almost a week.

First, gently place your lei in a plastic bag. If it looks like it’s starting to wilt, gently spritz it with water first.

Place your lei in your refrigerator, towards the bottom. The perfect temperature for a lei is actually between 50 and 55 degrees, so if you can store it at that exact temperature range, that’s even better. Try putting your refrigerator on its highest temperature setting, and you’ll probably have the right temperature for your lei.

If you don’t have room in your fridge, you can also place your lei in a cooler with ice for short-term storage. Again, avoid temperatures that are too hot or too cold. Protect your lei from touching the ice directly — cover the ice with cloth or paper before adding your lei.

You can also help the lei maintain moisture by keeping it wrapped in damp paper towels. Mist your lei with water each day so it stays fresh as long as possible.

Long-Term Preservation

To preserve your lei in the long term, you’ll want to dry it instead. You can start this process right away, or after storing your lei as described above.

In fact, you should always dry out your lei, even if you plan to get rid of it. These special flowers don’t belong in the regular trash. Traditionally, they get dried and are either kept, burned, or scattered somewhere natural.

To dry your lei, just hang it up in a dry, dark area with plenty of airflow. Leis dry best by hanging up with the flowers upside-down, just like bouquets do. If your home has high humidity, run a dehumidifier or air conditioner in the room while your lei dries.

Your lei should be dry in a matter of weeks — sometimes as little as one week. You can then spray it with a floral sealer or a coat of hairspray so the dried flowers won’t break.

Ready to Go Get Your Lei?

Now that you know how to preserve a lei, the only thing left to do is to book your trip to get one!

Once you get to the islands, make sure you plan to see us for your real flower leis. High-quality leis last longer and hold up to preservation better. Check out our Hawaiian lei flower selection here!

Hawaii, Inspiration

How to Throw a Hawaiian Luau Party

how to have a Hawaiian luau

How to Throw a Hawaiian Luau Party

How to Throw a Hawaiian Luau Party

Are you thinking about throwing a Hawaiian luau party? Read on to learn how to throw one that everyone will love.

While not everyone can handle the pressure, studies have shown that even introverts love the feeling of throwing a bash for friends. One of the hardest things to come up with is a reason to have people over or a theme that your guests can all get behind despite different backgrounds. One of the best themes to get people together is for a Hawaiian Luau party.

Here are the four most important elements of your Luau party.

1. Decorations

Choosing the right decorations is essential to creating a Hawaiian Luau that your guests will remember. Even if they’ve never been to Hawaii, there are a few stereotypes that ring true.

Look across the islands and you’ll find lots of lush green spaces with brightly colored tropical flowers. If you want to get your guests in the mood for that kind of thing, ensure that you have lots of bright colors all around your party. Get brightly colored tablecloths with accented bright colors.

Make a few centerpieces that make sense with your colorful island theme. Fill your vases with some fresh flowers if you can find them in your region. Plumeria, birds-of-paradise, and hibiscus are all great choices to ensure your settings have a strong Hawaiian theme. Set up some buckets with sand and place some shells around.

For an evening setting, place tea lights inside your buckets of sand to give your party the right kind of lighting.

Every element of your party has to fit within the theme, so don’t leave out your plats and flatware. Bamboo plates and flatware are great because not only are they biodegradable, but they come in every shape and size at party stores. They really bring then Hawaiian theme full circle when your guests can touch and feel the bamboo in their hands and mouths.

For the perfect sensory feel, set a few scented candles. There are ocean air and coconut scented candles available at most high-end candle shops.

2. Food

There’s nothing that completes a Luau party like the right kind of food and drinks. Since most Luau parties are both indoor and outdoor, consider having some dishes that are cool and ready to eat as well as others cooked over an open flame.

If you have a grill in the backyard, put together a mix of steaks, pork chops, and even some fish. For the meats, consider sweeter marinades using the kinds of tastes you’d find in Hawaii. Pineapple is a great garnish.

For your seafood, consider shrimp cocktails and smoked fish. A large batch of steamed clams with kalua pig and shiitake mushrooms cooked in foil on the grill is a great way to hit the theme home.

If you want to get into the theme, consider getting some friends to help dig a pit for your pig. While this isn’t always easy, if it’s a special occasion, consider looking up ways that other people have done this.

If you start with a nice pupu with fresh shrimp, fruit, and poi, you’ll get your party off to the perfect start. Since food is such an important part of the Hawaiian and Polynesian traditions, take some time to find recipes that you feel comfortable making at home.

Don’t forget to have lots of coconut, pineapple, and sweet cocktail drinks.

3. A Dress Code

While you might think it’s a little hokey, if you’re going through the trouble of putting together a whole evening of Luau themed food, clothing can make it whole.

With everyone wearing those classic Hawaiian shirts with beautiful artisanal prints, everyone will feel into the theme. They offer a classic and cool look and ensure that everyone at your party feels like they’re building the theme together.

The fabrics should be cotton, silk, or rayon. If anyone tries coming in polyester, tell them they’re off the theme.

If your guests are struggling to come up with the right clothing, tell them to look for clean lines and detailed motifs. Canoe, surfing, and beach themes are found on these prints made by designers all over the world. The traditional shirt of white flowers on red or blue is the perfect simple way to support the theme.

If they can find shirts with faux wood buttons, your guests have hit the nail on the head. There are even vintage shirts made from coconut shells. Give a bonus to the couples that come in matching sets. When your guests go the extra mile, you know you’re in for a night to remember.

4. Don’t Forget Music

The right soundtrack is vital to having the perfect Hawaiian Luau theme really hit home for your guests. Remember that before the American influence, there were lots more ukeleles and marimbas than surf rock and Elvis. While there are plenty of surf bands from the region, there’s a great podcast by DJ Mark Riddle that has everything you need to know for your Luau.

Check out some tiki-themed music of the vibraphonist Arthur Lyman. His songs conjure that chilled-out Hawaiian vibe you’re probably looking for. There are lots of artists sure to be linked to him if you’re using an online streaming site.

For something more modern, check out the singer Israel Kamakawiw’ole. You’ll find lots of great tracks on most digital platforms, but the most popular is going to be his version  of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Again, type in his name and you’ll get lots of related artists.

Your Hawaiian Luau is Sure To Be A Hit

Follow our four tips for putting together the right elements and your Hawaiian Luau is sure to be a huge hit. Hit your guests on every sensory level and they’re going to be talking about your party for years to come.

If you’re trying to create leis for your party, check out our guide for tips.

Hawaii

A Brief History and Origin of the Hawaiian Lei

A Brief History and Origin of the Hawaiian Lei

The lei is practically synonymous with Hawaiian culture, but where did they come from?

Maybe you were greeted with a Hawaiian lei the first time you landed in the state, or maybe you have just gotten used to seeing them on TV.

Either way, you have seen and are familiar with the lei, but what does it mean and where did it come from? Many people take the lei for granted, but there’s a rich and fascinating history behind it.

We’ve compiled a brief history of the Hawaiian lei just for you.

The History of the Hawaiian Lei

The history of the lei traces back to the origins of Hawaii as we know it today. The beautiful, lush islands of Hawaii weren’t populated until relatively recently. It makes sense when you think about the geographic location and distance from the mainland, but it’s not something you would typically think of.

The first inhabitants of the islands were Polynesian sailors who arrived there around 400-500 A.D. Even more surprising is the fact that these sailors made the voyage in finely crafted canoes! These were not our typical idea of canoes, rather a sturdier and larger watercraft that could hold larger numbers of people.

Still, a boat needs to be extremely fit to cross the ocean. The islands were already populated with birds and fish, but the mariners needed to supplement their diets, so they carried with them a variety of plant an animal species. The supplies that those people brought with them on large canoes grew and developed the habitable, beautiful human environment that we know and love.

Polynesians Brought the Lei With Them

The tradition of the lei was already established Polynesian culture before anyone inhabited Hawaii. Leis used to be adorned with different objects that aren’t used in practice as often these days.

Leis were originally embellished with flowers, leaves of plants, seashells, various seeds and nuts, bird feathers, bones, and other objects that held significance. Crafting leis became a sort of art, one which led to the fine pieces that we know today.

Because they were so integral to Hawaiian culture from its beginnings, it’s no surprise that the Hawaiians used the lei in several ways to signify large cultural ideas.

How Were Leis Used?

The ancients used leis to signify their status in society. This was and is a common theme across cultures. People tend to dress in a way that signifies a fact or idea about themselves, most commonly found in high-class groups which seek to make known their role in society.

Leis were a way to embellish one’s self in a beautiful way, expressing their identity as Hawaiians. The lei was political as well, coming into play when two opposing groups sought to unite. Hawaiian chiefs would come together to form peace agreements, tying the vines from two leis together to symbolize the unity of the two tribes.

Intertwining a vine from each tribe was officially the “signature” of the peace treaty, if you will, and was very significant to the agreement.

Leis were also used in the household and nearly everywhere else. Because the object had such a connection to the spiritual, Hawaiians crafted leis that were worn for nearly every task you can think of. Different colors and pedals held relationships with different gods and goddesses.

The red Lehua flower, for example, represented the volcano goddesses. People used to give offerings of these flowers, dropping them into the volcanos as a way to honor the gods. Many people still hold to tradition and give offerings to this day.

How We Know Leis Today

Visitors started coming to Hawaii in the late 1800s, and it was almost immediately a custom to greet those visitors with leis. This is part of the reason that leis are so synonymous with Hawaii– mainlanders have received them ever since they started coming!

The leis given at that time were true to the original, traditional version that held beautiful flowers and objects. Those still exist, but the tourism and popularity of the Hawaiian lei has lead to the majority of them being mass produced and plastic. While the lei still holds a positive association for most people, the fact that they are not handmade limits the significance.

The entire process of making and wearing leis was and is a spiritual practice. The objects are carefully selected, the art of crafting the lei is fine-tuned and difficult, and the differences between leis are significant to the task that is being done while wearing them. Unfortunately, the mass production strips the lei of some of its significance.

Ways to Honor the Tradition

If you’re planning to visit Hawaii, you can engage with the lei the old fashioned way if you wish to. The best way to do this is by ordering a flower lei greeting when you arrive at the airport. It may seem unusual to order a greeting for yourself, but you’ll be granted with a warm welcome and a beautiful lei, just like those who visited the islands hundreds of years ago.

Beyond that, there aren’t many rules to wearing a lei. It’s important to recognize, however, that it is a significant object to the people of Hawaii, and it shouldn’t be treated with disrespect. The lei exists as a greeting, a reminder, and a spiritual tool.

People give out leis at nearly every special occasion, so there is a strong association between celebration and achievement when someone wears a lei. Because of this, giving a lei is a common and ordinary thing in Hawaii. This leads to the only real rule that there is when it comes to receiving one– always accept it.

Unless you have an allergy or some other difficulty with the lei, it’s best to receive it warmly when given to you.

Come to Hawaii!

The islands are filled with adventure and excitement. The Hawaiian lei is far from the only cultural gem that the islands have to offer, and we want you to experience it fully. Start your trip by getting the best tips and tricks.

If you’re interested in learning more about a trip to Hawaii, we have all the information you need. You can also buy Hawaiian flowers from our beautiful collection.

DIY and How To

10 of the Rarest Orchids in the World

rare orchids

10 of the Rarest Orchids in the World

Orchids are some of the most elegant and diverse flowers in the world. Here are 10 of the rarest orchids from around the globe!

Did you know that the orchid family (a.k.a. Orchidaceae) contains approximately 25,000 species? Or that many orchids remain critically endangered and are rarely found in nature? In fact, the rarest orchids in the world are protected by law and occupy fragile habitats.

Interested in learning more about some rare orchid species? Read on to discover the ten rarest members of the Orchidaceae family.

1. Western Underground Orchid

The Western Underground Orchid is so rare that scientists believe there are fewer than 50 plants in the world. Its habitat is the broom bush scrubland of Western Australia, and it spends its entire life below ground. It flowers from late May through early June, you guessed it, underground!

With more than a hundred reddish and cream-colored flowers, the orchid features a strong fragrance. Since the orchid can’t draw on energy from the sun, it contains no chlorophyll. Instead, it parasitizes the roots of the broom honey myrtle bush.

How? It draws nutrients from this shrub through a symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizal fungus.

Because of its subterranean existence, the orchid relies on termites and gnats to pollinate it. They are drawn to it by the flower’s strong fragrance.

2. Western Prairie Fringed Orchid

The Western Prairie Fringed Orchid only exists in five states in the American midwest. Only 172 populations of the species are left in the world, and of these, only four contain more than 1,000 plants.

A wetland plant, the Western Prairie Fringed Orchid flourishes in “prairie potholes.” Major threats to this plan include fires, overgrazing, and development.

3. Ghost Orchid

Native to Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas, the Ghost Orchid grows on the main branches of living trees. It tends to favor pond-apple trees. It blossoms between June and August, producing between one and 10 fragrant flowers that open one at a time.

Ghost Orchid flowers appear white. They are displayed on spikes rising out of the plant’s root network. The lower petal of each flower has two long, lateral tendrils giving the Ghost Orchid’s flowers their distinctive look.

Endangered in the wild, Ghost Orchids have also proven very tricky to cultivate in captivity. Almost all attempts at growing the plant have failed although a handful of botanists have found success.

4. Rothschild’s Orchid

Rothschild’s Orchid is also known as the Gold of Kinabalu Orchid. It is a large, clear-leafed member of the Orchidaceae family. When it blooms, it produces up to six vibrant, tiger-striped flowers.

It was originally discovered in Northern Borneo in the rainforests of Mount Kinabalu. The flower has green and red striped petals and is only found between the elevations of 1,640 and 4,000 feet above sea level.

5. Shenzhen Nongke Orchid

The Shenzhen Nongke Orchid is unlike any other flower on this list. How? It was engineered in a Chinese laboratory by agricultural scientists. In fact, its name comes from the Shenzhen Nongke University where the experiment took place.

It took eight years to craft the blossom, and it, in turn, requires four to five years to produce each flower. It remains a rare bloom that sells for upwards of $220,000 per flower.

6. Hawaii Bog Orchid

One of three species found in Hawaii, this fringed orchid only lives in bogs protected from wild pigs by fences. It features greenish-yellow flowers on erect skies complemented by pale green, egg-shaped leaves. Grown from a tuber, not much else is known about the plant including how it reproduces or its lifespan.

What are some of the biggest threats facing the Hawaii Bog Orchid? Apart from pigs, threats include cattle grazing, hurricanes, and invasive plant species. As of 2009, three populations of the plant remained numbering less than 50 total.

7. Coleman’s Coral Root

Only three populations of Coleman’s Coral Root exist. They are all located in the Sky Islands of Arizona.

Like the Western Underground Orchid, Coleman’s Coral Root spends much of its life below ground. As a result, it doesn’t use photosynthesis to generate fuel from the sun.

A symbiotic relationship with fungus allows it to colonize the roots of shrubs and trees. Because of this interdependent relationship, disturbances of the soil can kill whole colonies. For example, accidental trampling by hikers renders the plant incapable of reproducing.

Unlike the Western Underground Orchid, Coleman’s Coral Root flower above ground when optimal environmental conditions exist. Fewer than 200 of these flowers grow above ground at any given time.

These flowers represent the plant’s only means of reproduction. Threats to this flower include cattle grazing, humans who accidentally trample the fragile blooms, and mining activity.

8. Dragon’s Mouth

Dragon’s Mouth grows in the bogs, swamps, and wet lowlands of Eastern North America, from Manitoba to Virginia. It is a leafless orchid. It flowers in the spring producing a single bright pink blossom. This blossom features a pale pink labellum with a yellow center and magenta spots.

While Dragon’s Mouth is listed as globally secure, it remains threatened in North America. Although the flower puts off a lovely aroma, it offers little nectar to pollinators. As a result, it relies on inexperienced bees to pollinate it.

9. Hochstetter’s Butterfly Orchid

In 2013, scientists rediscovered an extremely rare species of butterfly orchid on the Azorean island of Sao Jorge. The Azores are a group of islands situated in the North Atlantic Ocean. Researchers believe the species is so rare that its habitat may be limited to one mountaintop forest.

Hochstetter’s Butterfly Orchid is one of three species of butterfly orchid native to the island. Its rediscovery has placed new emphasis on the need for better conservation efforts.

The unique orchid has dwindled to near extinction. The combined threats of agricultural expansion, deforestation, and non-native flowers have decimated local populations.

10. Sky-Blue Sun Orchid

The Sky-Blue Sun Orchid is critically endangered. These rare orchid plants have recorded populations in Tasmania, South Australia, and Victoria.

The Sky-Blue Sun orchids’ area of occupation is estimated at less than 0.01 km squared. The plant grows in two distinct locations, Mason Point and Pirates Road. But its numbers continue to dwindle.

At the turn of the 21st century, the plant’s total population was estimated at less than 60 individuals. The Pirates Road colony numbered 32 plants and the Mason Point population between 5 to 20 individuals. The main threat to the Sky-Blue Sun Orchid remains loss of habitat.

The Rarest Orchids in the World

The ten orchids listed above face threats from invasive species, development, and more. Most hover near extinction. Learning more about the rarest orchids in the world highlights the importance of conservation.

Some species, such as Coleman’s Coal Root and the Hawaii Bog Orchid, face virtual extinction. They remind us of how fragile Earth’s ecosystems truly are and why very rare orchids need to be protected.

Fascinated by rare orchids? Check out our blog to learn more about these fragile beauties. Or, contact us today with your orchid-related questions. From cultivation to maintenance, we’re here to help your plants bloom.

Inspiration

10 Hawaiian Theme Party Ideas

10 Hawaiian Theme Party Ideas To Try This Summer

10 Hawaiian Theme Party Ideas To Try This Summer

Hawaiian party decoration ideas

Every season has certain qualities that set it apart from the others.

Summer is known for long days that turn into nights, barefoot walks on the beach and relaxed, sunshine-filled fun with friends.

Hawaii has always been known as the perfect summer destination. The sand and surf, laid-back lifestyle, and fun-loving locals make everyone who visits feel like they’ve stepped foot in tropical paradise.

In fact, the island state is well-known for its trademark Hawaiian hospitality.

If you can’t make it to the island to party this summer, how about throwing your own Hawaiian party?

What better way to ring in the summertime?

Whether you’re inviting your neighbors, co-workers, or your kid’s kindergarten class, we’ve got perfect party ideas that everyone will love.

Organize your own island escape with these Hawaiian theme party ideas!

10 Hawaiian Theme Party Ideas for Every Summer Occasion

These Hawaiin theme party ideas will help make your summer entertaining simple. Once you plan one Hawaiian party, many of your original party ideas can be used for your next event, even if the occasion is completely different from the first.

Hawaiian parties are so versatile that the theme is appropriate for all ages and works for practically every summer occasion.

Hawaiian theme party ideas can accommodate practically any type of party, For girls’ night, your son’s birthday, an engagement party or a neighborhood get-together, Hawaiin theme party ideas are a perfect pick, no matter what crowd you’re hosting.

Here are ten Hawaiian theme party ideas to jump-start your summer party planning.

1. Aloha Summer Kick-Off Party

Say goodbye to the classroom and hello to summer with an ” Aloha Summer party” that gets the season started off right.

For a class or team party, fun group games and activities are essential. A hula-hooping contest and limbo competition are kid favorites. Afterward, party-goers can chow down on healthy fruit skewers and chilled lime-sherbert punch.

Send each child home with a lei. It’s a simple party favor that’s always a hit.

2. Get Down at a Hula Dance Party

Grass skirts, flower leis, and authentic Hawaiian music will have your guests hula-ing in no time. Have someone come to teach a quick lesson, or check online to learn Hawaiian-style dances that you can pass on to your party attendees.

This is a big hit for a girl’s night or girl’s birthday party.

Floral arrangements do double-time, serving as centerpieces and flair for your guests’ hair. Allow girls to choose their favorite Hawaiian flower to tuck behind their ear for a fancy Hawaiian ‘do.

3. Say “I Do” to a Tropical Paradise Engagement Party

What’s the next best thing to getting hitched in Hawaii?

Celebrating your engagement with a Tropical Paradise Party might not beat the island heat, but it runs a close second.

Serve shrimp cocktails and pina-coladas to your guests. Have cocktail napkins printed with the happy couple’s names and the date of their big event.

Strings of lights and tropical floral accents set a romantic ambiance for an evening outdoors.

4. Beat the Heat with a Luau Pool Party

Make a splash this summer with a luau themed pool party. If you don’t have access to a swimming pool, a slip-n-slide or sprinkler works just as well.

5. Tie Dye Birthday Bash

Pass out white t-shirts and string them on a clothesline. Fill spray bottles with brightly colored water and fabric dye and let your guests create their own tropical work of art.

6. Invite Your Neighbors to an Island Block Barbeque

Crank up the grill and turn up the heat this summer with a neighborhood barbeque block party.

The sweet smell of authentic Hawaiian barbeque is a never-fail crowd pleaser. Make the menu simple by asking everyone to bring a potluck dish while you provide the main dish.

7. A Backyard Hawaiian Movie Party

Rent all of your favorite Hawaiian flicks and invite the family over for a night at the movies in your backyard.

A blow-up movie screen is ideal, but you can even use a regular television or projector to show the night’s feature film.

Kids can string candy leis while parents catch up.

8. Tiki Bar After-Hours Social

Looking for a fun after-hours professional event to host? String bright floral garland, center floral arrangements on tables, and create a tiki-bar using posterboard.

Serve Hawaiian-themed drinks and appetizers. Set the mood with some island music and tiki torches.

Colleagues will applaud your creativity and spend time getting to know one another.

9. A Coconut Cocktail Party

Carve out coconuts and serve cocktails to guests on Hawaiian platters garnished with miniature “skewers” or toothpicks stacked with pineapple and cherries. Add tiny parasols to top off the coconut concoction.

10. Treasure Hunt Island Equals Family Fun

This party idea works great with groups of friends and families.

Large crowds can divide into teams.

As their host, you will pass out a “treasure map” that you created prior to their arrival, along with scavenger hunt clues. Each clue will lead the group to a token prize, landmark, or additional clue needed for the next step.

You can modify the scavenger hunt depending on the ages and skill levels of your guests.

This party can be thrown together in no time for hours of island-style fun.

Ready to Throw a Summer Party?

You can add to these Hawaiian theme party ideas, or substitute a suggestion for a creative idea of your own.

If you are throwing more than one summer party, stock up on party extras from your local dollar store. You can usually find leis, luau themed paper products, tiki torches, and other fun items like funky strings of lights or paper lanterns there. Many local dollar stores even stock faux grass skirts throughout the summer.

Hawaiian party favors and decorations abound, especially during the warmer months.

But, you can throw a super-fun islander’s summer soiree using just a few homemade or dollar store decorations and bright tropical flower arrangements. This decor suits almost any Hawaiian-themed occasion. And, once the party is over, you’ll have a floral party favor of your own to brighten up your home.

Are you ready to throw your own summer party?

Check out our selection of party-perfect Hawaiian floral arrangements and place your order today!

Uncategorized

The Top 10 Most Beautiful Hawaiian Flowers

The Top 10 Most Beautiful Hawaiian Flowers

If you have a deep love for the beauty of Hawaii, then you must appreciate the beauty of Hawaiian flowers! This article is about native flora of Hawaii!

Do you know about the most gorgeous Hawaiian flowers on the islands?

Anyone can look at a flower and admire its beauty. However, the more you learn about the different kinds of Hawaiian flowers, the more appreciation you’ll have for the native island flora.

Learn to recognize the most beautiful Hawaiian flowers, and you’ll experience a newfound excitement each time you see one growing. You’ll even be able to impress your friends and family with your botanical knowledge.

Read on to learn more!

1. Hawaiian Hibiscus

This is one of the most iconic Hawaiian flowers. In fact, Hawaii’s official state flower is the yellow hibiscus.

The story behind the Hawaiian hibiscus is that in 1923, the hibiscus was named the flower of the territory – but no one knew what kind of hibiscus was supposed to be the official one.

The red hibiscus is native to the islands and seen in a lot of Hawaiian iconographies. Many people considered it the official state flower until 1988 when the yellow hibiscus was given the official designation.

However, no matter which variety you think of first, there’s no doubt that this is one of the region’s most iconic flowers. Just be sure not to pick any wild hibiscus – the wildflowers are actually an endangered species.

One more thing that makes the hibiscus special?

Although they bloom almost every day, the blooms never last more than one or two days. Each time you see a hibiscus bloom, it’s probably different than the one you saw yesterday.

2. Plumeria

The lovely, symmetrical plumeria is another flower that’s long been associated with the islands. These plants aren’t native to Hawaii, but they’ve become an integral part of the scenery.

Plumeria flowers have a sweet, beautiful fragrance and soft petals. They have traditionally been worn behind the ear to show relationship status. The left ear means you’re in a relationship since it’s closer to your heart. The right ear means you’re single.

3. Birds of Paradise

Hawaiian.bird.of.paradise

These sculptural Hawaiian flowers are impossible to miss. Although they originate from South Africa, the bird of paradise flower has been gracing the islands of Hawaii for many years.

The bright petals fan out like the wings of a tropical bird, hence the name. These blooms also make great flower arrangements, since they last a long time after being cut.

One of the best-known Georgia O’Keeffe paintings, called “White Bird of Paradise,” was done while she was in Hawaii during the 1940s.

4. Ohia Lehua

This tough flower is always the first plant to grow on a lava flow after an eruption. There’s actually a fascinating legend involving ohia lehua plants and Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes.

Once upon a time (the legend goes), the volcano goddess was attracted to a gorgeous man called Ohia. However, Ohia rejected her, because he loved a woman called Lehua.

Pele took revenge by transforming Ohia into a gnarled tree. Lehua appealed to the other Hawaiian gods to turn him back into a man. However, the gods didn’t want to anger Pele.

Instead, they decided to turn Lehua into a flower blossom that grew on the Ohia tree, keeping the lovers together forever. Legend has it that picking a flower from an ohia lehua tree will cause a rainstorm because the lovers cry when they’re separated.

5. Pikake

You might know the pikake flower by another name: pikake is Hawaiian for jasmine. Pikake when translated actually means “peacock.”

The Hawaiian Princess Kaiulani named these flowers after the birds she loved. The scent of Hawaiian jasmine is one of the most distinctive scents on the island.

Pikake can also be used to make leis. The buds are taken before they bloom completely and woven together to make a lei worn by hula dancers, brides, and party guests.

6. Naupaka

These Hawaiian flowers have a distinctive shape that looks like half the flower is missing. Another fascinating Hawaiian legend offers an explanation for the shape.

The princess Naupaka was in love with a commoner, according to the legend. They couldn’t marry, but a wise man told them to go to a temple to pray and see what the priest would tell them.

It took them many days to reach the distant temple. However, when they got there, the priest had nothing helpful to say to the lovers. The devastated princess took the white flower she wore in her hair and ripped it in half.

She gave half the flower to her lover and told him to go back to the beach, while she would live in the mountains.

This refers to the fact that there are two types of the naupaka plant: one from the beach and one from the mountains. Each only appears to grow half a flower.

The mountain naupaka, with its their strong scent, is known as the “female” version of the plant while the beach naupaka is the “male” plant with a lighter scent.

7. Ginger

exotic ginger flower

Many different types of ginger grow on the islands. You’re probably familiar with the spice, but do you know how to recognize the flower?

Ginger’s lovely geometric blossoms don’t have a scent until you crush or squeeze them. Then, the petals release a sweet, wonderful fragrance. Ginger is commonly used in Hawaiian cooking, and in beauty products such as shampoo.

8. Heliconia

Heliconia flowers come in a wide variety of colors and shapes. It can take a long time to learn to recognize all of them – you’ll often feel like you’re looking at a different species!

These flowers can be hard to spot since the blooms are often hidden in the plant’s own shadows. However, peak under the leaves of a heliconia and you’ll see bright red, orange, or yellow blossoms that look like sculptures.

Do You Love Hawaiian Flowers?

One of the best ways to show your love for Hawaiian flowers is to learn about the history, legends, and uses of each one.

Another great way is to bring them into your home or give them as gifts.

Looking for the perfect Hawaiian flowers to brighten up your day? Check out our tropical flowers for sale here.

Hawaii

Where Do Hawaiian Flowers Come From?

Hawaiian flowers are famous around the world. The perfect climate in Hawaii allows many different tropical and other flowers to thrive. But were these beautiful blooms always here or were they brought in from afar?

Orchids

Orchids are a quintessential Hawaiian flower. Orchids are found in many exotic locations around the world. They came to Hawaii with workers from Asia who came to work in sugar cane fields. Orchid hobbies soon evolved into commercial growing as the popularity of the flower expanded worldwide. Most growers are on the Big Island, known as ‘The Orchid Isle’. However, most islands have climates favorable to growing orchids. Nurseries can be found on Oahu and Maui as well.

There are endemic orchids include some very rare species found only on the island of Molokai. It is believed they may have originally come to the islands via migratory birds.

There are now many large nurseries dedicated to orchids. The seed stock mostly arrives from Taiwan though some local growers create their own crosses. Competition from factory farms in Taiwan and Thailand have created a great deal of price competition for Hawaiian growers most of which are family owned.

In addition to potted orchids and cut stems the orchid blooms are used in lei making. Again cheaper blooms from Thailand have taken from the Hawaiian grown flowers. Most orchid leis are made from dendrobium orchids.

Hanohano orchids are grown in trees and are found in many Hawaiian yards

Plumeria

Plumeria are very much identified with Hawaii. They grow in sunny spots and are seen in many yards and for landscaping. Is plumeria a native Hawaiian tree? Sorry, no. Plumeria are native to the Americas. The name comes from a European botanist name Plumier who first wrote about the tree. They were brought to Hawaii from Mexico in the 1800’s. The blooms are short lived and are white with yellow centers or various shades of pink. Plumeria are used for making leis though they are not so durable as orchid leis. Plumeria are prized for their fragrance. It can be extracted from the flower though this is a difficult process. Many cosmetics use simulated plumeria fragrances.

The flowers are toxic if eaten so keep them away from children and pets.

In Hawaiian the name can be said ‘Pua Melia’ with pua being the Hawaiian word for flower. Melia is a common name for girls in Hawaii. Plumeria is also know as frangipani. You can grow them in many places on the mainland. Water when there are leaves and stop when the leaves begin to drop.

plumeria flower white and yellow

Hibiscus

Hibiscus is another favorite garden flower found in Hawaii. But it is another exotic coming from southeast Asia and Oceania. The soft flowers are somewhat short lived and are not sturdy enough for lei making. Hawaiian women will often wear a hibiscus in their hair. They can also be grown as a house plant and are grown outdoors in states like California and Florida.

Hibiscus is so popular in Hawaii it has been named the State Flower.

Anthurium

Anthurium is another Hawaiian classic. This beautiful flower was brought from Central America and it thrives in Hawaii with its similar climate. Anthurium are used for flower arranging and are know to be long lasting. Some anthurium can last up to a month after cutting. Soaking the entire stem and flower under clean water is one trick for a longer life. Anthurium like steady and warm temperature. A little cold exposure or too much heat can cause the flower to wilt.

Anthurium come in colors including red, green and pink. There are also variegated flower as well as smaller tulip types.

So while this flower is seen throughout the islands it is another exotic from the New World.

watermelon.anthurium

 

Protea

Protea are cultivated on the island of Maui. They grow well on the slopes of Haleakala. Many farms allow tourists to visit. But protea did not begin on Maui. Protea are originally from Africa and Australia. They grow on a sturdy bush and many can be kept as dried flowers. Types of protea include the large king and duchess. There is also the banksia that came from coastal Australia. Pincushion protea have delicate look. All protea have an unusual appearance in comparison to tropical flowers.

Pincusion protea with bird

So please come to Hawaii and enjoy our amazing flowers. The fact that most came here from far away does not take away from their importance in Hawaiian life and culture.

Gifts

Gifts for Assisted Living – Always with ‘Aloha’

Finding a gift for someone in assisted living can be a challenge. These are often the people who took care of us in earlier days. So it is natural to want to return that love and caring in a meaningful way. Gifts for assisted living residents can be particularly challenging at during the holiday season.

The ideal gift should be easy to receive and maintain. Our loved ones living in care giving facilities may not find it convenient to go out to enjoy a gift card for shopping or a nice meal. Or to shop on line. Residents often live in limited space both indoors and out. But a unique gift will warm their hearts in a special way. Often the days can become routine. Something unique and lovely will also bring more social interaction as other residents stop by to see what has arrived.

One of our most popular gifts for assisted living residents are fresh Hawaiian flowers.

Flowers for Seniors in Assisted Living

 

Fresh tropical flowers add beauty and color to any home. They are easy to display and make a remarkable show in even the simplest vase. Those with some time may create a spectacular arrangement of their own. And flowers from Hawaii last longer than store flowers, sometimes two weeks or more. While everyone enjoys pretty flowers your gift will be even more meaningful if your loved ones have a connection to Hawaii. They may have been born here, honeymooned in Hawaii, given military service, or simply loved to visit the islands for its people and natural beauty.

At Alii Flowers we offer a wide selection of Hawaiian flowers for your loved ones. You can send a single assortment for a holiday, anniversary or birthday. As a gift for assisted living our Flowers of the Month Clubs are widely enjoyed. This lets you give a different assortment of tropical stems each month for three, six or twelve months. New members receive a full color book to identify each flower. It also includes arranging ideas in many different, easy styles. We will send them directly to the facility. Either to the guests unit or the front desk with the guests name and location.

Looking for something already arranged? Consider a protea basket from Maui. These come in a natural container ready to display. And the unusual protea flowers grab a lot of attention. Not only does this display last for many days but most of the flowers will dry naturally and can be kept. This is a great gift for those in assisted living as it can be opened and shared immediately without arranging.

For a simpler gift a fresh flower lei can be warmly received. This can be worn on a holiday, birthday or anniversary. For attending services at holiday time a fresh corsage will add a special touch.

The holidays are time for loving and caring. Those in assisted living deserve a special remembrance. If you cannot be with them we suggest Hawaiian flowers as a way to send your own message of ‘aloha’.

 

Hawaii

The Wondrous Banksia Flower

The Story of the Banksia Flower

Have you heard of the Banksia Men? These were the villains of May Gibb’s “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie”, a children’s book series first published in 1918. In it, the Banksia Men are drawn as the aged cones of Banksia trees with the follicles as facial features. It’s no wonder that Gibbs picked Banksia flowers as her inspiration. These huge, colorful flower spikes have tons of character. They bloom into flowers that look tubular or cone-shaped; they’re frequently a sunny yellow, red, orange, or green.

These stunning trees were first collected by a man named Joseph Banks, which is where they got their name.  He collected them in Australia during Cook’s voyage of 1770. They were first described, however, in Australia in 1782. The banksia genus is a good traveler, and, in 1977, people started importing these amazing flowers to Maui for commercial cultivation.

These days Banksia flowers are beloved in gardens as shrubs that grow tall, filling in big spaces that require hardy plants. Gardeners keep them for the mammals and birds they attract with their large quantities of nectar, too. They produce a steady supply of nectar even when other sources dry up.

Beekeepers and the Aboriginals of Australia also like the continual flow of nectar these plants produce. The nectar is so plentiful that the people of south-western Australia used to suck on the flower spikes straight, as well as making a sweet drink out of it. They would soak the flower spikes in water, and it was as good as juice.

Commercially, they make great cut flowers, particularly the Banksia coccinea and the Banksia baxterii. Some of them even make good dry flowers. Banksia flowers add variety to any bouquet, from their bright colors to their leathery texture. They come fresh from protea farms on Maui where they luxuriate in the warm days and acidic soil that bring out their best blooms.

If you are looking for a flower with a little history and a lot of character, contact us about our Banksia flowers.

Maui banksia red flower closeup

Gifts, Hawaii, hawaiian weddings

Kukui Nut: What’s It All About?

 

Kukui Nut: What’s It All About?

First brought to the islands by Polynesian explorers from Southeast Asia, Aleurites moluccana, or kukui, is the state tree of Hawaii. With light green foliage covered in a silvery-white powder, these trees can grow to a height of 80 feet, and they have beautiful and fragrant white flowers. Because the trees and their products are so versatile, kukui trees held an important place in the religion and daily lives of the ancients.

In older times, only royalty were allowed kukui nut leis, and the leis were cherished. Today, they are often given to arriving guests, and many people have added the candlenut leis, bracelets and anklets to their jewelry wardrobes. The bracelets are often shared during the exchange of wedding vows to represent the joining of the two spiritual lights of the bride and groom into a single, holy union.

Kukui nuts were a source of light in ancient times, as well. Originally, the nuts were skewered on wicks made from frond leaves from coconut palms, stuck into the ground or a pot of dirt or sand, and lit one by one. As they provided light, they also helped measure the passage of time. Later, the oils were extracted and burned in lamps.

Spiritually, the kukui trees were once held to be the physical form of Kamapua’a, the pig god of the island culture. The kukui ano ano, or kukui leis, were the first prayer beds used by the Hawaiian people, and they represent light, hope and renewal.

In addition to leis, spiritual symbolism and contemporary jewelry, the kukui nuts may be roasted, pounded and mixed with salt and chili peppers to make inamona, a delicious relish-like condiment. The oils were also used often as medicines and tonics for health. Today, the oils are often used as a skin moisturizer that creates a protective layer on dry skin that allows the area to heal naturally.

The oils and ashes of the burned nuts were used to dye tapa cloth and to polish and waterproof wooden bowls, as well as canoes and surfboards made from koa wood. Crushed nuts can be used to polish kukui nut leis, too.

To learn more about kukui nuts and other Hawaiian traditions, contact us.

brown kukui nut Hawaiian lei

Hawaii, hawaiian weddings

3 Characteristics Unique to Hawaiian Weddings

3 Characteristics Unique to Hawaiian Weddings

The Aloha State is widely known as one of the best honeymoon destinations in the world. However, you don’t actually have to wait until you’re already married to appreciate the beautiful landscape of Hawaii. Instead, you and the love of your life can get married with the awe-inspiring features of the tropical island serving as a magnificent backdrop to your wedding day. Doing so will allow you and your significant other to enjoy characteristics unique to Hawaiian weddings.

Hear the Sound of Waves Crashing During the Wedding Ceremony

There’s no real need to hire a band when getting married on the beaches of Hawaii. The sound of the ocean’s waves crashing onto the shore is already wonderful music to the ears. So you’ll get to save money by not having to hire a band. Yet, your wedding guests will be afforded the opportunity to listen to the wonderful sound of nature while the two of you recite your wedding vows.

Feel Sand Between Your Toes

Hate having to go through an entire day of wearing formal dress shoes? Then come to Hawaii to get married and feel sand between your toes instead. When you’re having a beach wedding, there’s no expectation for wearing formal footwear. Hence, you’ll get to wear sandals or simply go without shoes throughout the entire wedding ceremony.

And don’t be afraid to make it casual. An aloha shirt is perfectly acceptable for an authentic Hawaiian wedding.

Take Incredibly Gorgeous Wedding Pictures

When your wedding is taking place on one of the most visually stunning islands in the world, it’s almost impossible to not have incredibly gorgeous wedding pictures. The ocean, waterfalls, and palm trees all help to create a stunning background for the most perfect wedding picture. Just don’t forget to contact us beforehand to add some nice floral touches to the amazing scenery.

Hawaiian wedding couple with orchids

Gifts, Hawaii

Top Hawaiian Snacks for the Foodie in Your Life

Top Hawaiian Snacks for the Foodie in Your Life

Hawaii is full of delicious treats and snacks to the casual tourist. Whether you’re looking for the best snack to munch on at the beach or looking for the ideal souvenir gift for the foodie in your life, here are the top Hawaiian snacks to consider for every occasion!

Lounging at the Beach:

So you’re in Hawaii and decide to go to the beach. Unless you’re planning to pack an entire luau feast to take along you’re going to need some snacks to munch on while taking in the sun and surf. Why not enjoy some local delicacies to really have the proper island experience? One of the best Hawaiian snacks to pack along for a long day at the beach is Li Hing Mui and dried fruit! When the Chinese people immigrated to Hawaii they brought along their knowledge of drying fruit with salt to preserve the flavor. Plums are arguably the best preserved fruits and “li hing mui” literally means “traveling plum” in Chinese! Some other delicious preserved fruits to take to the beach include dried coconut, dried pineapple, and dried papaya. Not only are the local treats delicious, but the salt will replenish the body after sweating it out at the beach and helps with muscle cramps for those activities like swimming and surfing.

Gifts to Take Home:

Everyone rues the end of a vacation. That’s especially true for those enjoying the days amongst the beautiful Hawaiian beaches and mountainous terrain. What’s even more trying is finding the perfect souvenir for those friends and family back home wanting a piece of Hawaii for themselves. Well fear not, because the best souvenir is one that everyone can enjoy and it’s easy to pack into a suitcase. If you’re having trouble deciding what Hawaiian treat to take back home and give as gifts look no further than a delicious box of chocolate macadamia nuts! A box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts are cheap and can be found in virtually any convenience or gift shop on the Hawaiian islands. Not only that, but they have a rich history with the Hawaiian people since 1927 and make the perfect easy and light gift to take back home for someone you care about.

For those who have tree nut allergies or don’t like the macadamia variety another gift option is 100% Kona coffee! Hawaii is known for its locally sourced coffee beans and nothing is more Hawaiian than the Kona bean. It is cultivated only on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa on the largest island of Hawaii. There are over 600 farms on the Big Island selling coffee. It’s been a recognized brand of coffee globally since the late 19th century and a perfect gift for the caffeine lover in your life.

Of course these aren’t the only two options and Hawaii offers various delicious treats to snack on while the go or to add to a gift basket. Some other options include wasabi rice crackers, lemon or ginger crack seed, assortments of nuts, and flavored mochi! The tasty options are limitless!

For more information on Hawaiian culture or to bring a piece of Hawaii into your life with a personalized bouquet of Hawaiian flowers please feel free to contact us today!

Kona coffee beans after roasting

News

Aiea Orchid Show – 2015

Here are some shots from the main displays at the Aiea Orchid Club 34th annual orchid show. June 12-14, 2015.

Aiea is on the island of O’ahu in Hawaii.

Please enjoy and comment on your favorites.

For more orchid shows in Hawaii visit Honolulu Orchid Society.

Click the arrows on the right to scroll through the pictures.