The Hawaii State Flower is yellow … not red. Gotcha!
It’s true. The native yellow hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei A. Gray), also known as the Pua Aloalo or Ma`o-hau-hele, was established and designated as the official flower of the State of Hawaii in 1988.
Up to that time, just about any old hibiscus could be considered as the State Flower. Red was usually a popular choice.
So, just to show you my heart’s in the right place, and because I’ve been gone so long (another contest of wills between this blog platform and myself), I brang you a flower.
When you’re in Hawaii you’ll see many beautiful yellow hibiscus blossoms, but most won’t be the real deal. To paraphrase the University of Hawaii botanical guys: It is native to dry forests and shrub lands at elevations from 400 to 2,600 feet, and is found on all the main Hawaiian islands except Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe. But it is not common in any location.
And This is a Modern Situation
The official blossom was once prevalent in the locations mentioned above, but started to decline after the arrival of western cultures in the Hawaiian Islands. As often happens, new arrivals bring alien, exotic plants with them. Those plants bring diseases endemic and indigenous species are not immune to.
Where Can I find Them?
Check with local garden clubs, the Bishop Museum, and paid tropical gardens. The resort you’re staying at might also have some plantings.
Fun Facts About Hawaii: At 4,063 square miles, the Big Island of Hawaii is the largest island in the United States. Think about it.
[warning]More great posts about Hawaii coming soon![/warning]
P.S. Keep those Comments Coming, Cousins!