What Is The State Flower Of Hawaii?

The Yellow Hibiscus, also known under its scientific name Hibiscus brackenridgei, is Hawaii’s state flower. The hibiscus flower is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae

It was officially designated as the state flower of Hawaii in 1988.

The yellow hibiscus symbolizes beauty, love, and sunshine on the island.


This official flower species, which is often used in traditional lei making, is a beautiful addition to the island’s diverse tree population. Native to the Hawaiian Islands, this remarkable hibiscus species has become an iconic emblem of Hawaii’s rich tree flora.

So, whether you’re a resident of Hawaii or just curious about this beautiful state’s flower,  join us as we explain the history, meaning, and symbolism of the Yellow Hibiscus, as well as learn more about its appearance and gardening tips.

Symbolism of the Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus

The Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus holds great significance in Hawaii, representing the aloha spirit and hospitality that the islands are known for.

Its vibrant yellow blossoms, adorned with a prominent stamen, make it a signature flower of the island state. 

The hibiscus flower is known for its bright colors and delicate beauty. It symbolizes youth, beauty, success, glory, and femininity.

Different colors of hibiscus flowers have different meanings:

For example, white symbolizes purity, red symbolizes passion, yellow symbolizes positivity and good luck, and purple symbolizes wealth, mystery, wisdom, and knowledge.

Some interesting facts:

  • Rarity and Uniqueness: The Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus is highly prized for its rarity. Found only in Hawaii, it stands out among other hibiscus varieties with its stunning yellow petals. Its exclusivity adds to its allure and makes it a sought-after flower.

  • Symbol of Good Luck: Legend has it that the Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus brings good luck and positive energy to those who possess it. This belief has made it even more cherished by locals and visitors alike. People often gift these flowers as tokens of good fortune or keep them as personal talismans.

  • Aloha Spirit: The Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus embodies the essence of aloha, which means love, compassion, and respect in Hawaiian culture. Its bright color and delicate beauty reflect the warm hospitality extended by the people of Hawaii. It serves as a reminder to embrace kindness and spread positivity wherever one goes.

  • Stunning Beauty: With its radiant yellow blossoms contrasting against lush green foliage, the Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus is truly captivating. Its large petals create an eye-catching display that never fails to impress. Whether adorning gardens or used in floral arrangements, this hibiscus variety always steals the spotlight.

The Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus holds a special place in Hawaii’s heart due to its representation of both natural beauty and cultural values. As you explore the islands, keep an eye out for this remarkable flower that epitomizes all that makes Hawaii so enchanting.


Growing Popularity of Hawaii’s State Flower

The Hawaii state flower is experiencing a surge in popularity worldwide. Its captivating beauty has made it a sought-after ornamental plant, leading to an increasing demand for this stunning blossom. Cultivated in tropical regions around the globe, the hibiscus attracts visitors who flock to Hawaii to witness its splendor. The Road To Hana is a prominent place where you can wild hibiscus growing on the sides of the rose.

With its status as the official state flower of Hawaii, the hibiscus holds a special place in the hearts of many people. Endemic to volcanic landscapes, it symbolizes love and resilience—a testament to nature’s ability to thrive even in challenging conditions. Throughout the year, this vibrant blossom graces Hawaiian landscapes, making every day feel like a celebration.

Cultural Significance of Popular Flowers in Hawaii

Flowers hold immense cultural significance in traditional Hawaiian ceremonies and celebrations. They are not just mere decorations but play a vital role in conveying messages of affection, respect, and spirituality.

In Hawaii, the art of creating leis using flowers is deeply rooted in their culture. These vibrant garlands are given as symbols of love, friendship, or honor. By presenting someone with a lei, Hawaiians express their warm feelings towards that person.

Moreover, each flower used in Hawaiian leis carries its own symbolism. For instance, the beautiful plumeria represents positivity and is often associated with deities or ancestors. The fragrant maile vine signifies peace and is believed to bring good fortune. By incorporating specific flowers into leis, Hawaiians pay homage to their mythology and spiritual beliefs.

Floral offerings hold great importance during religious rituals and at sacred sites throughout Hawaii. It is customary for worshippers to present flowers as an offering to the gods or goddesses they revere. This act demonstrates reverence and gratitude while seeking blessings or guidance.

In addition to their religious significance, flowers also represent various natural elements within Hawaiian mythology.

For example, the delicate hibiscus flower symbolizes beauty and is often associated with the goddess Pele who governs fire and volcanoes. Similarly, the striking bird-of-paradise flower embodies magnificence and represents Laka, the goddess of hula dance.


Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus: Appearance, Locations, and Uses

The Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus is a stunning flower that stands out with its large yellow blooms. These flowers have five petals and are known for their distinctive stamen protruding from the center. Here’s a closer look at the appearance, locations, and uses of this beautiful hibiscus plant.


  • Large yellow flowers with five petals.

  • Distinctive stamen protruding from the center.


  • Found primarily on the islands of Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Maui, Lanai, and Kahoolawe.

  • Thrives in the tropical climate of Hawaii.


  • Used for decorative purposes such as making leis or floral arrangements.

  • Medicinal purposes: The Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus has been used traditionally to treat certain ailments.

Apart from being visually appealing, the Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus serves practical purposes too. It is commonly used in creating stunning leis or adding a pop of color to floral arrangements. Traditional medicine has recognized its potential medicinal properties for treating specific ailments.

The hibiscus flower has various culinary uses as well. A tea made from hibiscus flowers is known for its red color, tart flavor, and vitamin C content.

Dried hibiscus can also be used as a garnish or candied. Furthermore, some species of hibiscus have medicinal uses in traditional folk medicine. Sour teas derived from Hibiscus sabdariffa may lower blood pressure. 

Other Iconic Flowers in Hawaii

The beauty of Hawaii extends far beyond its state flower. Here are some other iconic flowers that add to the vibrant tapestry of the islands:


  • Fragrant blossoms often used in leis.

  • Represents positivity and new beginnings.


  • Striking orange-blue petals resembling a bird’s beak.

  • Symbolizes magnificence and beauty.


  • Diverse range of orchid species found in Hawaii.

  • Admired for their elegance and exotic appeal.


  • Heart-shaped flowers available in various colors.

  • Represents hospitality and abundance.

In addition to these remarkable blooms, there are other noteworthy flowers that grace the landscapes of the main islands, such as the Pikake on Oahu and the Big Island’s unique floral treasures.

These flowers embody the essence of Hawaii, each with its own story to tell. Whether it’s the delicate fragrance of a plumeria lei or the vibrant hues of an orchid, these iconic flowers capture the spirit and natural beauty of this tropical paradise. So next time you find yourself strolling through Hawaii, take a moment to appreciate these stunning blooms that have become symbols of aloha.

Official Flowers of Hawaii: Beyond the Yellow Hibiscus

The vibrant yellow hibiscus flowers have been designated as the official state lei flower in Hawaii.

These blossoms adorn traditional Hawaiian leis and are a symbol of the islands’ beauty and culture. 

Hawaii’s love for flowers extends beyond these official designations.

The islands boast an abundance of beautiful plants and shrubs that can be found in gardens throughout the archipelago. From fragrant plumerias to exotic orchids, there is no shortage of colorful blooms to admire.

When exploring Hawaii’s natural wonders, one may come across the striking berry clusters of the Pacific islanders’ beloved haku plant. These berries not only serve as a visual delight but also hold cultural significance for many indigenous communities.

With their lush green leaves and enchanting buds, Hawaiian flowers continue to captivate visitors from around the world.

Whether it’s strolling through botanical gardens or witnessing nature’s artistry along scenic trails, these blossoms create an atmosphere that epitomizes paradise.

So next time you find yourself on one of Hawaii’s breathtaking islands, take a moment to appreciate the diverse array of flowers that grace this tropical paradise.


What is the official state flower of Hawaii?

The official state flower of Hawaii is the Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus. Known for its vibrant yellow petals and delicate beauty, this flower holds great cultural significance in Hawaii.

Can I grow Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus outside of Hawaii?

Yes! While native to Hawaii, Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus can be grown in other warm climates as well. With proper care and attention to temperature requirements, you can enjoy these stunning flowers outside of their native land.

Are there any other iconic flowers in Hawaii?

Absolutely! In addition to the Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus, there are several other iconic flowers that represent different aspects of Hawaiian culture. Some examples include Plumeria (frangipani), Bird-of-Paradise (Strelitzia reginae), Orchids, and Anthuriums.

Where can I find Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus in Hawaii?

Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus can be found throughout the islands of Hawaii. You’ll often see them adorning gardens, parks, and even hotel grounds. Keep an eye out for these vibrant flowers during your visit!

Can I use Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus for any specific purposes?

While primarily appreciated for their beauty, Yellow Hawaiian Hibiscus flowers can also be used in traditional Hawaiian lei-making. They add a touch of elegance and tropical charm to these floral garlands, making them even more special.

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