June 29, 2009

Hawaii Flowers Offer Radiant Colors For Many Occasions

By Jason Hobbs

The first item that everyone wants when they step off the plane at the Honolulu airport is a lei made of beautiful Hawaii flowers. This gift, more than anything else, is probably the most anticipated part of the trip. Fresh flower leis are very special because they say Aloha and symbolize the warmth and feeling of this traditional Hawaiian welcome. This is especially true if the leis are made of colorful orchids intertwined with foliage such as maile vine to make a completely beautiful object to wear to the hotel and out to dinner at night. Leis are created for different occasions, but the one you receive when you deplane for the first time is unforgettable.

Hawaii flowers have other uses for adornment as well. At the annual celebration for King Kamehamea, flowers are used to decorate the floats for the parade. King Kamehamea was the first monarch who brought the group of islands under one ruler in the year 1810. The floats are donated by the various commercial companies and the parade is a tribute to the great former ruler and an expression of hope that dwellers of all countries can work in cooperation with each other.

The island has many types of colorful flowers that are native to the South Pacific. Hawaii flowers like Heliconia and Ginger grow in the wild and are also cultivated for commercial purposes. There are many brightly colored Hawaii flowers like Costus and more pastel varieties like Calathea. There is also quite a bit of unique foliage that is indigenous to the islands.

Colors and shapes unique to Hawaii flowers

The name for the Heliconia comes from the fact that the blossoms are typically helix shaped. They have slender stems with delicate blossoms, and usually come in a mix of red hues. The plants for this species can have spike-like greenery, fern leaves, or broader types of leaves.

The Costus species have round blossoms, but tend to be overwhelmed by the foliage of the plant. The Ginger flowers also have round blooms, although some types look like the flower has been divided into thinner petals. Colors for these Hawaii flowers vary but they are generally red in color.

The Calathea is more like the spiked plants that have long slender blossoms and usually come in earth tones. Some of the flowers in this family, especially the Calathea shakers, bear a resemblance to typical wheat spikes.

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