The Hawaiian flower is eponymously endemic to the state of Hawaii but is more commonly known as the hibiscus. It is famous in Asian countries like Malaysia, India, South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines but is also found in Haiti, Australia, the United States and Pacific Islands. It is the crown jewel among Hawaiian flowers and the yellow hibiscus is the official flower of Hawaii. The hibiscus is quintessentially woven into leis and worn by women in Hawaii. Hibiscus comes from the Greek word “hibiskos” which translates as “mallow”. The Hawaiian flower meaning is justified as it belongs to the mallow family of Malvaceae. Its name was coined by eminent Greek botanist and physician Pedanius Dioscorides.
Its characteristic features include 5 extravagant petals and a center that sports a pollen-heavy stamen. Scientifically known as Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, these plants can grow up to 10 to 15 feet in height. They also go by the names of shoeblack plant, rose mallow, China rose or the rose of Sharon. They are found in every color of the rainbow except green. The hybrids come in lovely gradients of yellow and red, pink and white, white and red and more. Pollinators are attracted by its splash of colors. With over 300 different species found around the globe, it blooms best in tropical and subtropical climates where humid temperatures abound.
What Do Hawaiian Flowers Symbolize?
The Hawaiian flower meaning has substantial symbolism and a rich history in many cultures. It represents many fine attributes such as evanescent beauty, cordiality, femininity, romance and happiness. In Hawaii, depending on which ear the flower is worn behind, it is used to indicate the single or taken status by women to potential romantic candidates. In China, the bloom is linked with notions of one’s success and prestige. The hibiscus is an extraordinary flower that blooms for one day only. This indicates the transient nature of beauty which nonetheless reminds us to carpe diem and enjoy precious things while they last. The hibiscus leis are offered to welcome guests in many countries as a token of hospitality and friendship.
Malaysia – The red hibiscus is the official flower of Malaysia where it is called bungaraya or the “flower of festivities”. It represents the holistic spirit of Malaysians who rise above ethnic differences to celebrate their diversity and multicultural population.
South Korea – Dubbed the mugunghwa by Koreans, the rose of Sharon or the pink hibiscus is the national flower of the country. It is considered to be an immortal blossom that never fades. Through this flower, the Koreans have eternalized the pride in their everlasting culture and tradition.
India – In Indian and Hindu mythology, the Hawaiian flower meaning has sacred and primeval connotations. It is offered in worship to the fierce Goddess Kali and the pinnacle of wisdom Lord Ganesha who taught the mortals about its divine knowledge.
Greece – The hibiscus signifies metamorphosis in Greek mythology. A popular tale follows Greek god Adonis transforming into the hibiscus to disrupt the conflict between Goddesses Persephone and Aphrodite.
Haiti – Though not officially, the Hawaiian flower has been classified as the national flower by the people of Haiti.
What Do the Various Colors of the Hawaiian Flower Mean?
Yellow – The yellow Hawaiian flower meaning is the utmost symbol of amiability. It also typifies optimism, joy and good luck. It is an apt choice for social situations and celebrations. The yellow bloom is a flexible and meaningful flower that can be given to just about anyone.
Red – The red Hawaiian flower meaning exemplifies romance and sensuality. When a woman wears it on her person, it signifies that she is available for a romantic adventure. When given to a man or woman, it signals that you are interested in them.
Pink – The pink hibiscus has traditional ties with non-romantic and familial relationships. It stands for platonic affection and prioritizes all kinds of love. It is a gentle flower that embodies youth and can be gifted to children or friends.
White – The white Hawaiian flower is connected to the concepts of virtue, peace, clarity and sanctity. It is a well-wishing flower that can elevate the mood of the receiver, convey the admiration you have for them and is even offered to deities in worship in many cultures.
Orange – Orange hibiscus symbolises enthusiasm, gentleness, liberty and encouragement. It makes the perfect ornamental fit for summer parties and cut flowers can placed inside the home to liven up the atmosphere.
Purple – The purple hibiscus is certainly the rarest and most unique among the Hawaiian flowers. It can be used to express your gratitude to someone special, cherish their eccentricity or convey your unconditional love. Combining the breezy blue with the alluring red, the purple bloom also stands for unlikely connections in your life.
Interesting Facts and Characteristics of the Hawaiian Flower
– Egyptians used the Hawaiian flower tea as a natural aphrodisiac to improve the potency of men and women. It was also used as a salve to treat wounds and a concoction for a range of ailments like fever, cardiovascular problems and common cold.
– The Hawaiian flower meaning also has culinary and medicinal nuances as it is consumed as a delicacy by many countries.
– Mexicans popularly drink Agua de Jamaica which is an iced tea made from dried hibiscus petals. Roselle juice is a favorite among Africans which is made from the Roselle species of hibiscus. Iran consumes sour tea made from the Hawaiian flower. The teas are abundant in Vitamin C and known to aid metabolism, lower blood pressure and boost heart health. It even has anti-cancer qualities. The flower is also used to garnish salads and desserts in some countries.
– In India, the hibiscus is a traditional ingredient of shampoo and an effective remedy in eliminating lice. Hair dyes are also made from it.
– In Indonesia, it is known as the shoe flower as it is valued for its shoeshining properties.
– Some hibiscus varieties have color-changing attributes that appear with age.
– In Victorian flower language, the hibiscus was valued for its exotic nature. The recipient of the flower was recognized as being exceptionally beautiful.
Best Time to Gift Someone Hawaiian Flowers
The Hawaiian flower meaning has an eye-catching appeal no matter who the receiver is. The plants can be gifted to people who value its vibrant tropical identity. The red blooms can be used to usher in new romantic opportunities and are bound to be a swoon-worthy gesture of love for your significant other. Pink flowers can be gifted to your friends, family and colleagues. If someone is going through a rough patch, the yellow hibiscus ought to cheer them up. White blooms can be sent to someone to remind them they’re beautiful just the way they are. Orange hibiscus makes the ideal gift for those whose kindness inspires you. Purple hibiscus can be reserved for special days and soulmates as it celebrates finding beauty in rare places and seeking the extraordinary within the commonplace things.