Hibiscus tiliaceus

A yellow Hibiscus tiliaceus flower in Hawaii
Yellow and pink Hibiscus tiliaceus flowers in Hawaii

This was going to be my last response to Becky’s April Squares challenge, but I punted it back a week. These are the beautiful, bright flowers of hibiscus tiliaceus, which is known as hau in Hawaii. It’s a canoe plant, brought to Hawaii by the early Polynesians, who used the wood in their canoes and the bark for cordage and medicinal purposes.

The flowers only last for a day, starting out yellow and becoming orange and then red as the day wears on. As the lower photo shows, different colored blooms can often be seen on the same plant depending on where they are in this progression. These were at Kohanaiki Beach Park.

8 thoughts on “Hibiscus tiliaceus

    1. Graham Post author

      They’re not especially thick. I don’t think they used the wood for the hulls, but for interior parts. I love the different colors, too. When I first saw flowers like this I used to examine them closely thinking there were two different plants!

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