Floral Traditions in Hawai’i - from Garden of Eden Flower Shop
Posted on July 01 2021
Aloha and welcome to our July blog post! This time, we visit the hot spot of tropical flowers in the United States, Hawai’i! Flowers have huge importance, significance, and symbolism in Hawai’ian culture. There are many ways they can be worn, and they are associated with gift-giving, ceremonies, and celebrations including greetings, weddings, and accomplishments.
The plumeria flower is one of the most significant and powerful within Hawaiian culture. It is either a bright pink or creamy yellow color and has a strong and sweet scent that is adored by many. In the past, only royalty were allowed to wear this flower due to its wonderful smell. The plumeria flower represents birth and love, spring and new beginnings. It’s a positive and hopeful symbol, so it’s no surprise that it’s extremely popular and adored.
In Hawai’ian culture, the plumeria can be used to symbolize a woman’s romantic status when worn in the hair. If the flower is behind a woman’s left ear, she is in a relationship. If it is worn behind the right ear, she is willing to meet a romantic partner.
The hibiscus is Hawai’i’s state flower. This vividly colored flower is striking and beautiful, and signifies delicate beauty and joyfulness. The Hawaiian hibiscus shrub blooms almost every day, but the blossoms only last for a day. In the past, they were considered endangered. Now, you can find the hibiscus growing nearly everywhere, with over thirty new species on the island.
The orchid symbolizes refinement, beauty, and luxury. In ancient Greece they also represented virility. There are four varieties of orchid that are indigenous to Hawai’i. You’ll find them growing in the rain forest. They are most predominately seen in the eponymous lei.
Pikake is the Hawai’ian name for jasmine. It was named by Hawai’i’s Princess Kauilani whose favorite bird was a peacock. This is why pikake translates to ‘peacock’. The pikake has a light, bright and gentle scent. They are often worn by brides, hula dancers, and honored guests.
The naupaka flower is known for its unique shape; it looks like half of the flower is missing. The Hawaiian legend claims that a princess named Naupaka fell in love with a common man that she was forbidden from marrying. An elderly wise woman told them of a distant temple where they should pray for guidance. They traveled for days but, when they arrived, the priest said that he could not help. A
heartbroken Naupaka took the white flower from her hair and tore it in half. She gave one half of the flower to her lover and told him to return to the beach. She stayed in the mountain.
That’s why one type of naupaka plant grows in the mountains, and the other grows on the beach, while both look like only half a flower!
Next, we’re leaving the sunny isle of Hawai’i for the brisk snows of Switzerland!