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


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.