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5 Plants To See When in Hawaii

banana blossom

Plants in Hawaii can be separated into two main types: native and non-native. Because Hawaii is such a tropical paradise, many non-native plants have been able to flourish. It’s a phenomenon that is unlike anywhere else in the world.

Let’s take a look at how Hawaii’s unique climate has led to a diverse plant life found nowhere else on the globe with 5 of our favorite plants:

Pua Kala

Pua Kala translates to thorny flower, and with good reason. These plants have prickly white leaves that are toxic to the touch. However, this plant can be dried or cooked and used as medicine to treat stomach aches and several other ailments like nerve and joint pain. These plants are a must-see; just be sure not to make physical contact with them.

Haleakalā Silversword

This species can be found along the Haleakalā volcano. These plants are currently protected under the National Parks Service, but beforehand they were commonly uprooted to use for kindling. While their population is bouncing back, they are still considered one of the rarest species on the islands.

Banana Blossom

Most people are familiar with the banana fruit, but not so much with the plant’s purple blossom. Banana blossoms, also known as “banana hearts,” are easily recognizable for their purple color and tear-like shape. While there were originally about 70 varieties of bananas on the Hawaiian islands, only about 20 remain today. A little-known fact about the plant is that the central part of the banana is underground.

While most wait for bananas to fruit, these blossoms have been used in southeast Asian and Indian cooking.

Cigar Flower

This tight-leaved shrub gets its name from its tube-shaped red flowers that resemble lit cigars. Each plant can grow up to 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 5 feet wide and is an excellent food source for hummingbirds.

Hawaiians began growing this plant in the mid-19th century as a lei flower, but it has grown in popularity as a perennial plant amongst other warm-toned flowers.


Coming in a variety of purple and yellow patterns and hues, there are over 10 species of lilikoi in Hawaii, all of which are not native to the Islands. Two of them even produce safe-to-eat passion fruit. The fruit’s pulp is orange, and its insides are filled with black seeds. The fruit is rich in vitamins and in flavor, making it an excellent addition for meals, cocktails, or to enjoy as a refreshing tropical snack.

As if that wasn’t enough to pique your interest, this plant can also be used in herbal teas and for medicinal purposes to calm anxiety.

Hawaii’s ecosystem is genuinely unlike any other in the world ziplining in Hawaii. If you have any questions about our variety of plant life or would like to see some of it up close and personal, book a garden tour with Botanical World Adventures. Book your tour online TODAY  !

If you have any questions, you can contact us at (808) 731-1160 or at!



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