7 Hawaiian Plants You’ll See on Vacation

March 26, 2020

Photo by Alec Basanec

Our Hawaiian islands are filled with lush, tropical plants found throughout the state, which remains the most isolated land mass on planet earth. With the tropical climate, Hawaii is home to unique plants, exotic colorful native and non-indigeous plants to the Aloha State. Hawaii is very strict on keeping the islands as natural as possible – protecting & preserving the land and making sure Hawaii stays is free from invasive plants and animals (no snakes here!). 

Here is a list of plants you will find on the Hawaiian islands. 

Anthurium – Hawaii is synonymous with Anthurium plants. While they aren’t native to Hawaii, they are available year-round and can be found here at home on our tropical island.

Bird of Paradise – The perfect tropical flower, Bird of Paradise, an iconic perennial, is a popular bloom in Hawaii, especially in floral arrangements due to their long-lasting nature, in nature along waterfall hikes and various flower shops. Famed floral artist Georgia O’Keefe painted “White Bird of Paradise,” one of her most famous works of this period during her time in Hawaii in the 1940s.

Hibiscus – Hawaii’s official state flower is the yellow hibiscus, declared by the Hawaii’s Legislature in 1988!

Palm Tree – There are a few different varieties of palm trees and there are a common sight all over the island and come to mind when thinking of this tropical paradise such as the date palms, coconut palms, traveler’s palms, and bottle palms, they’re known for being sturdy, used for food, shade, decoration, etc!

  • Dates – Produced by the date palm (Phoenix dactylifera). Not the same as the dwarf date palm (Phoenix roebelenii).
  • The açaí fruit – Product of the açaí palm (Euterpe oleracea), this fruit is very popular right now as a health food.
  • Saw palmetto extract – From the fruit of the saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), this extract is used by some as an alternative treatment for enlarged prostate.
  • Heart of palm – A popular addition to salads, heart of palm is a tasty food. We don’t recommend you try harvesting it from your own palms, however, as it will kill the tree.
  • Palm wine – In some parts of the world, the sap from palms is even made into wine! Check out this video for a look at how it’s done.

Pikake – A symbol of romance and love, this white delicate flower was brought to the Hawaiian islands in the 1800s and soon became a favorite of the royals.

Pineapple – Grown year round, this plant produces delicious tropical, sweet fruit called pineapples, containing full of Vitamins C, B and fiber . Fun fact: Christopher Columbus’s crew were the first Europeans to see and eat the pineapple, in 1493.

Plumeria – Native to tropical, warm climates, Plumeria flowers are seen and grown throughout the island. Plumeria symbolizes positivity and is used in leis or to celebrate special occasions and often times worn in hair – a flower over the right ear means she is available while one over the left means she is taken!