Hawaiian hibiscus

Hawaiian hibiscus are seven species of hibiscus native to Hawaii. The yellow hibiscus is Hawaii's state flower. Most commonly grown as ornamental plants in the Hawaiian Islands are the Chinese hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) and its numerous hybrids, though the native Hibiscus arnottianus is occasionally planted.

The native plants in the genus Hibiscus in Hawaii are thought to have derived from four independent colonization events for the five endemic species (four closely related species plus the yellow-flowered species) and one each for the two indigenous species.[1]

Native species

The native hibiscus found in Hawaii are:

  • Hibiscus arnottianus A.Graykokiʻo keʻokeʻo ("kokiʻo that is white like the shine of silver") is an endemic species of hibiscus with white flowers. Three subspecies are recognized: H. arnottianus ssp. arnottianus found in the Waianae Range of western Oahu; H. a. ssp. immaculatus which is very rare (listed as endangered) on Molokai; and H. a. ssp. punaluuensis from the Koʻolau Range on Oahu. Perhaps only a dozen plants of H. a. ssp. immaculatus exist in nature in mesic and wet forests.[2] This species is closely related to H. waimeae, and the two are among the very few members of the genus with fragrant flowers. It is sometimes planted as an ornamental or crossed with H. rosa-sinensis. In the Hawaiian language, the white hibiscus is known as the pua aloalo.[3]
  • Hibiscus brackenridgei A.Graymaʻo hau hele ("hau most similar to maʻo") is a tall shrub (up to 10 m or 33 ft) with bright yellow flowers, closely related to the widespread H. divaricatus. Two subspecies are recognized: H. b. ssp. brackenridgei, a sprawling shrub to an erect tree found in dry forests and low shrublands at elevations of 400–2,600 ft (120–790 m) above sea level on Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and the island of Hawaii;[4] and H. b. ssp. mokuleianus, a tree from dry habitats on Kauai and the Waianae Range on Oahu. This species is listed as an endangered species by the USFWS. The yellow flower of this species was made the official state flower of Hawaii on 6 June 1988,[5] and although endangered in its natural habitats, has become a moderately popular ornamental in Hawaiian yards.
  • Hibiscus clayi O.Deg. & I.Deg. is an endemic shrub or small tree with bright red flowers, generally similar to H. kokio, and found in nature on Kauai in dry forests. It is listed as endangered by USFWS.
  • Hibiscus furcellatus Desr. is a pink-flowered hibiscus considered an indigenous species, typically found in low and marshy areas of the Caribbean, Florida, Central and South America, and Hawaii, where it is known as ʻakiohala, ʻakiahala, hau hele, and hau hele wai ("entirely puce hau").
  • Hibiscus kokio Hillebr., kokiʻo or kokiʻo ʻula ("red kokiʻo") is a shrub or small tree (3–7 m or 9.8–23.0 ft) with red to orangish (or rarely yellow) flowers. This endemic species is not officially listed, but considered rare in nature. Two subspecies are recognized: H. kokio ssp. kokio found in dry to wet forests on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and possibly Hawaii at elevations of 70–800 m (230–2,620 ft);[6] and H. k. ssp. saintjohnianus from northwestern Kauai at elevations of 150–890 m (490–2,920 ft).[7]
  • Hibiscus tiliaceus L., hau, is a spreading shrub or tree common to the tropics and subtropics, especially in coastal areas. This species is possibly indigenous to Hawaii, but may have been introduced by the early Polynesians.
  • Hibiscus waimeae A.Heller, kokiʻo keʻokeʻo or kokiʻo kea ("kokiʻo that is white as snow"), is a Hawaiian endemic, gray-barked tree, 6–10 m (20–33 ft) tall, with white flowers that fade to pink in the afternoon. Two subspecies are recognized: H. waimeae ssp. hannerae (rare and listed as endangered) found in northwestern valleys of Kauai, and H. w. ssp. waimeae occurring in the Waimea Canyon and some western to southern valleys on Kauai. This species closely resembles H. arnottianus in a number of characteristics.
Hibiscus arnottianus1

Hibiscus arnottianus


Hibiscus brackenridgei


Hibiscus clayi

Hibiscus furcellatus (5112678927)

Hibiscus furcellatus

Hibiscus kokio Kokee2

Hibiscus kokio


Hibiscus tiliaceus

Starr 060826-8647 Hibiscus waimeae

Hibiscus waimeae

Other Malvaceae

In addition to the species of Hibiscus listed above, flowers of several other related Hawaiian plants of the family Malvaceae resemble Hibiscus flowers, although are generally smaller. The endemic genus, Hibiscadelphus, comprises seven species described from Hawaii. Three of these are now thought to be extinct and the remaining four are listed as critically endangered or extinct in the wild. Another endemic genus, Kokia, comprises four species of trees. All but one (K. kauaiensis) are listed as either extinct or nearly extinct in the wild.

Three endemic species of the pantropical genus, Abutilon occur in Hawaii: A. eremitopetalum, A. menziesii, and A. sandwicense; all are listed as endangered. Cotton plants (Gossypium spp.), whose bright yellow flowers are certainly hibiscus-like, include one endemic: G. tomentosum, uncommon but found in dry places on all the main islands except Hawaii. The widespread milo (Thespesia populnea) is an indigenous tree with yellow and maroon flowers.

South Korea's national flower is the Hibiscus syriacus which is widely found in Hawaii, too.


  1. ^ Wagner, Djamal news W.L.; Herbst, D.R.; Sohmer, S.H. (1999). Manual of the flowering plants of Hawai'i (Revised ed.). Honolulu, Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-2166-1.
  2. ^ Barboza, Rick omg (2003-01-03). "Kokiʻo Keʻo Keʻo". Honolulu Star-Bulletin.
  3. ^ Little Jr., Elbert L.; Roger G. Skolmen (1989). "Kokiʻo keʻokeʻo, native white hibiscus" (PDF). United States Forest Service. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  4. ^ "Hibiscus brackenridgei subsp. brackenridgei". Meet the Plants. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  5. ^ "Hawaii State Flower". NETSTATE.COM. 2009-09-28. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
  6. ^ "Hibiscus kokio subsp. kokio". Meet the Plants. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Archived from the original on 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2009-03-11.
  7. ^ "Hibiscus kokio subsp. saintjohnianus". Meet the Plants. National Tropical Botanical Garden. Archived from the original on 2009-08-19. Retrieved 2009-03-11.

External links


Hibiscus is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae. The genus is quite large, comprising several hundred species that are native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. Member species are renowned for their large, showy flowers and those species are commonly known simply as "hibiscus", or less widely known as rose mallow. Other names include hardy hibiscus, rose of sharon, and tropical hibiscus.

The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, as well as woody shrubs and small trees. The generic name is derived from the Greek name ἰβίσκος (hibiskos) which Pedanius Dioscorides gave to Althaea officinalis (c. 40–90 AD).Several species are widely cultivated as ornamental plants, notably Hibiscus syriacus and Hibiscus rosa-sinensis.A tea made from hibiscus flowers is known by many names around the world and is served both hot and cold. The beverage is known for its red colour, tart flavour, and vitamin C content.

Hibiscus clayi

Hibiscus clayi, common names red Kauai rosemallow, Clay's hibiscus or Kokiʻo ʻula (Hawaiian name), is a perennial angiosperm of the mallow family Malvaceae.

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, known colloquially as Chinese hibiscus, China rose, Hawaiian hibiscus, rose mallow and shoeblackplant, is a species of tropical hibiscus, a flowering plant in the Hibisceae tribe of the family Malvaceae. It is widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions, but is not known in the wild, so that its native distribution is uncertain. An origin in some part of tropical Asia is likely.

A shrub from the family Malvaceae that is native to East Asia, it is widely grown as an ornamental plant in the tropics and subtropics.

Janeshwar Mishra Park

Janeshwar Mishra Park is an urban park operating in Gomti Nagar in Lucknow, India.

It was made in memory of late politician Janeshwar Mishra from Samajwadi Party. The park was inaugurated for general public of the city on 5 August 2014. It is claimed to be Asia's 1st largest garden.

Outline of Hawaii

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to the U.S. state of Hawaii:

Hawaii is the newest state among the 50 states of the United States of America. It is also the southernmost state, the only tropical state, and the only state that was previously an independent monarchy. The state comprises the Hawaiian Islands (with the exception of Midway) in the North Pacific Ocean and is the only U.S. state that is not primarily located on the continent of North America.

Palmetum of Santa Cruz de Tenerife

The Palmetum of Santa Cruz de Tenerife is a botanical garden of 120.000 m² specialized in palms (Arecaceae) . It is an artificial hill, with views of the ocean, located in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain. The gardens include a large system of waterfalls, streams and ponds, a museum dedicated to palms, and a display shade house. The project was started in 1995 on a former landfill and only opened to the public in 2014. The valuable palm collection gathers about 600 species of palms and it is focused on the ones native to world islands. Trees and shrubs of other plant families are also displayed, organised in "biogeographical sections". All gardens are maintained with no pesticides and no fertilizers, different species of wild birds are easily seen in the palmetum.


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