Say It With Some Aloha!
Are you familiar with the colorful, often fragrant world of Hawaiian flower tropicals ? Have you seen Bird of Paradise blooms outside your window, or plucked a Plumeria blossom from a tree for tucking beside your ear? One doesn’t need to live in the tropics to use these exotic blossoms in arrangements for your home or wedding event.
Whether tropical blooms grown in Hawaii are right outside your front door or in a dream from a faraway place, it might be just the flower you wish to send to someone special or include in your wedding. Accordingly you might even want a lei (the signature Hawaiian necklace of welcome) for a birthday or an arrangement to mark a holiday celebration.
Flowers Of Hawaii
A little trivia to get started on discovering the beauty of exotic blooms.
Highlights of some of the best known flowers of Hawaii:
- A Tango Tangerine or Orange Red themed wedding? Let tropical flowers put your stamp on it.
- Flowers which grow in Hawaii are both native and introduced species. Flora of Hawaii.
- Anthuriums are shipped from Hawaii, where they grow as a cash crop. The blooms can last for months.
- Aloalo, or as we commonly know them, Hibiscus, are grown throughout the Islands and were chosen as the official flower of the State of Hawaii.
- Strongylodon macrobotrys, or Blue Jade Vine, are another flowers you won’t soon forget once having seen them. Native to the Philippines, Blue Jade Vine are often used in Leis. The blue-green flowers are vivid and arresting in appearance.
- Plumeria are perhaps the flower most identified with Hawaii after the Hibiscus. They are sweetly fragrant, and grow on trees. Used in Lei’s and lovely tucked behind your ear.
- Bamboo Orchid – Arundina graminifolia are among the many types of orchids growing in Hawaii.
- Protea grow on the slopes of Haleakala Crater, on the island of Maui.
- Heliconias, originally native to South and Central America, are grown for florist export.
- Arrangements representing Hawaiian floral displays might include Red Anthuriums, Red Ginger flowers, Orchid flowers, such as Dendrobium together, among other Hawaiian flowers.
Tropical Flowers Loved For Weddings
What kind of weddings are best expressed with tropical blooms? Modern themes, Asian, and either very elegant or colorful events would be beautifully enhanced with the interesting profiles and bright colors often found in Hawaiian flowers.
Elegant and Exotic Examples
Tropical flowers give a year around source for beautiful flower interpretations of many of our most loved wedding colors. Mango and tangerine, white and yellow, oranges, pinks, fuchsias, and reds. There are many shades of fabulous color just waiting to combine for gorgeous wedding displays and fragrant bridal bouquets.
More expensive tropical flowers generally require fewer numbers to create a huge visual impact. Generally, they are very long lasting.
Anthurium Acaule for a Valentine
Interestingly, the first flower arrangement I received from my husband was a bouquet of red Anthuriums for Valentine’s Day. It was one that was memorable, because the bright red flowers were so unusual.
Their shape was an interpretation of a Valentine heart in themselves, as though pierced through with the golden arrow of the flower pistil. That is the type of impression that tropical flowers are able to make… especially on those of us in cold, landlocked climates.
More about the Hawaiian Flower
Anthuriums are a cash crop in Hawaii. There are a number of varieties of Anthurium which come in several colors, mostly red to pink. As a cut flower they last for a long time, they can last for months in fresh water.
These heart shaped flowers are so attention getting that you only need a small number to make a huge impact. Their very shape says “love”!
A Short List of Native Hawaiian Flowers
What happened to many of the native Hawaiian flowers and plants? The environment has changed, introductions from other parts of the world have choked out native species, and habitat has been lost. Yet, as always, there are survivors. Even the native Koa tree is being preserved although it is not found in abundance in the forests of the Islands. Note the difference between native flowers of Hawaii and those grown for use in florist shops. Basically those sold in florist shops are imported tropical varieties from other parts of the world.
There are many lesser known flowers that are natives.
- Gardenia brighamii
- Heliotropium anomalum
- Lehua Mamo
- Scaevola sericea
- Wollastonia integrifolia
- Zingiber zerumbet
This is where I saw these beautiful flowers firsthand. Imagine plucking a Plumeria bloosom from a tree for your hair! I did that.
Discover the Island of Maui. Yes, it is small, but the number of different scenes are amazing, from the warm sandy beach to tropical rainforest to the top of the cool mountainside, you will be delighted at the facet of this Island.
Care For Your Tropical Flowers
General care for your tropical Hawaiian flowers:
- Recut the stems before placing them in the container.
- Always use clean water, a floral preservative helps prolong the fresh look of your flowers.
- Keep a Hawaiian flower away from those things that dry and wilt: heat sources like furnace vents or fireplaces, air conditioning drafts, and direct sunlight.
- Clean the vase, and change the water often. Tropical flowers usually have long vase life, up to two weeks.
Modern Look From Tropical Beauty
A modern fresh look is achieved through artistic combining of beautiful tropical flowers, many of which come from Hawaii.
Ginger – Delicate Tropical Delight
Postcard: Pink Ginger by alandersenphoto
Red Ginger Watercolour Poster by joeyartist
Red ginger, Alpinia purpurata, is native to the South Pacific, but introduced to Hawaii sometime before 1930. It has become naturalized on the Islands. It is not edible ginger, and as a cut flower it takes the plant about 3 years to come to harvest. Then, once blooming it will bloom year ’round.
Hawaii grows red and pink ginger blooms for flower exports. They are treated with pest controls and with preservatives before export.
Another plant grown for its fascinating flower is the Kahili Ginger, native to the Himilayas. Hedychium gardnerianum Ginger is seasonal in Hawai’i and starts blooming in August, continuing into the fall.
Bird of Paradise
Lovely for arrangements which make a beautiful and fragrant gift.
Strelitzia, or ‘Bird of Paradise’ flowers are native to South Africa. They bloom from September through May, and are often used in tropical flower displays because of their graceful and colorful appearance. Being quite sturdy, care must be taken to protect the more fragile flowers of the arrangement from being bruised (when including the Strelitzia blooms).
Native to the tropical Americas and the Pacific Ocean islands, and sometimes called “false Bird of Paradise”. This Hawaiian flower comes in colorful shades of reds, oranges, yellows, and greens. It is the showy bracts that help make them desirable for floral arrangements. There are many varieties .
The Official State Hawaiian Flower
Hibiscus flowers that are usually seen growing are of a species that is not native to the Islands. Growing on a shrub, Hibiscus flowers last only for a day. The Hawaiian Hibiscus, Hibiscus brackenridgei, is the one chosen as the State flower and native to Hawaii.
The Hibiscus bloom shape is often seen as a stylized pattern in Hawaiian prints.
Because its flower is short lived, the Hibiscus is mainly used as a patio or houseplant in Northern climes, and you won’t be likely to see it in arrangements.
Tropicals and Roses
Use Hawaiian flowers with the more common roses in your bouquets and arrangements for a pop of new color and unusual contrasts.
Instructions for Making a Tropical Arrangement
Learn how to put together amazing tropical flower arrangements with step by step directions. Enjoy creating your own bouquets with gorgeous results.
Leis are strings of Hawaiian flowers and natural plant material
Enjoying the Aloha Music
… while watching how the leis are made.
- Plumeria leis can be ordered online.
- Unpack the leis immediately.
- Mist with cool clean water and loosely wrap with newspaper to absorb excess moisture. Some lei suppliers may wrap leis in ti leaf.
- Mist leis and re-wrap in ti leaf until ready to use.
- Store in cooler at 50 – 55 degrees F.
- Keep leis away from heat and temperatures below 45 degrees F.
- Unpack and use fragrant leis immediately.
- Mist with cool water daily.
Source: wedding-flowers-and-reception-ideas.com Rebecca
All types of orchids thrive in the warm tropical coast and mountain forests of Hawaii.
Tips for dendrobiums and other orchids:
Recut stems once or twice per week.
Use clean water with or without a floral preservative.
Keep flowers away from heat sources.
Avoid temperatures below 45 degrees F.
Artifical vs. Real flowers
Can you tell which one is artificial?
Which arrangments do you prefer?
Tropical Leaves as Fillers
- Ti Leaves
- Black Ti
Tropical Flower Tips and Info
- Hawaii Tropical Flower Council
Leading florists and designers captivate and delight their customers with exotic and tropical flowers, plants and foliage
Learn to make arrangements with tropical flowers