Hawaii has two official state flowers, each representing a different part of the state. These flowers are recognized for their cultural and symbolic significance:
Yellow Hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei):
- The yellow hibiscus, also known as the Pua Aloalo, is the state flower of Hawaii. It was adopted as the official state flower in 1988. There are several varieties of yellow hibiscus, but the native species, Hibiscus brackenridgei, is the specific flower designated as the state emblem. The yellow hibiscus is symbolic of the warmth and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands.
Hawaiian Pua Lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha):
- The Hawaiian pua lehua, or 'ōhi'a lehua, is the official flower of the Big Island of Hawaii. The scientific name is Metrosideros polymorpha. While not the state flower, it holds significant cultural and ecological importance in Hawaii. The 'ōhi'a lehua is often associated with the goddess Pele and is found in various ecosystems, from coastal areas to upland forests.
These flowers are not only beautiful but also hold cultural, historical, and ecological significance for the people of Hawaii. They are a part of the rich tapestry of flora that contributes to the unique and diverse ecosystems of the islands.