The 10 best flowers you’ll find in Hawaii

Like palm trees, who doesn’t love tropical flowers?

Hawaii is abundant with hundreds of different species of them, and here we identify the best of the best:


Simple, with a pleasant and mild fragrance, the plumeria is probably the most recognizable flower across the islands. The white-yellow gradient variety are the most common, but there are also various shades of pink and orange. Also called frangipani.


These cheerful flowers are easy to spot — they have a long, fancy centerpiece called a pistil that extends from the center of the flower. Hibiscus come in all kinds of colors, but the red kokio variety is the only one endemic to Hawaii.

Bird of Paradise

Need we say more?

Red ginger

Also called pink cone ginger or ostrich plume, this elegant decorative flower grows throughout the tropics. Ancient Hawaiians used ginger for medical purposes.

White ginger lily

The flower of the white ginger lily lasts only a day, but the super sweet fragrance stays with you for a lifetime. If you’re in the right place in Hawaii, you’ll find yourself in the middle of thousands of the blossoms.


Ever walk into a room that has a bowl full of gardenias on the counter? It’s a heavenly scent! These fragrant white flowers are hearty and make excellent mini-bouquets.

Tahitian gardenia

This variety of gardenia smells the same as “regular” gardenias, but is much thinner and more radial. You’ll often see girls (and sometimes guys) with one of these blossoms tucked behind their ear. Note: behind the left ear means you’re taken, right ear means you’re single.


The pikake, aka Arabian jasmine, is quite possibly the sweetest smelling flower on Earth. The small delicate blossoms are highly coveted in Hawaii, especially for making lei — which are expensive and hard to come by.


Meet another super-sweet-fragrant flower! Puakenikeni is sometimes known as the perfume flower tree and is indigenous to Northern Australia and the Caroline Islands. They also make great leis.


There are few flowers more regal and distinguished as the anthurium. They make spectacular landscaping flowers, as well as cut flowers for your next arrangement. Very easy to spot — green stem and leaves, red single petal waxy flower (sometimes or white), and a long yellow “spadix” that protrudes.

Need a hand with your next Maui vacation? Please contact the Sunny Maui Vacations team at or call 808-240-1311, ext. 21. We’ll find you the best vacation rental condo or rental home in South Maui and help you with any and all recommendations and activities across Maui.

Image credits: Thimo van Leeuwen, binh-minh, alabama_extension, treeworld, bunnylounge, Jason Leung, redlinx, 21141870@N07, Lukas Stoermer, elbeso, rosasay

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