Hawaii's State Flower - the Yellow Hibiscus

Hawaii’s State Flower: the Yellow Hibiscus

Yellow Hibiscus flowers are showy, fragrant, and exotic… just like Hawaii! It’s no wonder the hibiscus is our state flower.

The hibiscus flower has been part of Hawaii since well before we became part of the 50 states. It was first adopted as a territorial emblem in the 1920s for its beauty and prevalence. In 1959, when Hawaii achieved statehood, the hibiscus came along as its symbol.
Yet it wasn’t until 1988 that the native yellow hibiscus became Hawaii’s official state flower. Before that date, you would see all types and colors of hibiscus used to represent Hawaii. Now, you will see the yellow hibiscus represented most often in print and media.
One thing to note about the official state flower is that it’s native to Hawaii, but you need to pay attention! Although hibiscus grows around the world, the state flower – Hibiscus brackenridgei, or maʻo hau hele – is distinct. According to CTAHR, here are some traits to help identify the correct hibiscus:
  • Large flowers are 4 to 6 inches in diameter.
  • Yellow, generally with a maroon center.
  • Form singly or in small clusters at the ends of the branches
  • The staminal column is yellow.

Hawaii's State Flower - the Yellow Hibiscus

Not only is Hawaii’s State Flower beautiful, but it’s useful and versatile as well. Here are some more cool notes about hibiscus:

  • For a unique taste of hibiscus, try making a hibiscus syrup to mix with your favorite champagne.
  • The flowers themselves are edible and are edible candied or dried.
  • Hibiscus tea is another popular way to appreciate hibiscus.
  • The flowers have many health benefits: hibiscus is high in vitamin C and reported to help lower blood pressure.
  • You can use hibiscus to make paper.
  • Hibiscus flowers also attract beautiful butterflies and and bees, of course.
If your resort has hibiscus plants about, stop for a moment to admire their beauty and usefulness as a plant!

Brought to you by Travel to Paradise – your Hawaii Travel Agent vacation expert!

Sources: Hibiscus brackenridgei

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