Category Archives: Flowers

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.

On the water

Water lilies at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Garden in Hawaii
A sailboat off the coast of Hawaii
Two outrigger canoes off the coast of Hawaii
A surfer in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Water.’ See more responses here.

First up is a patch of water lilies on Lily Lake at Hawaii Tropical Bioreserve and Gardens, which reopened at the beginning of April after being closed all year. My wife and I visited last Friday and it was great to be back. As usual, I took a bunch of photos most of which still need processing.

Second is a sailboat running before the wind on the blue Pacific.

Below that is a pair of canoeists paddling along the island’s northern coast. Yesterday, I saw several vehicles going by with canoes, probably headed for Keokea Park, where they can put in safely, possibly for a race. One of the vehicles pulled in to the likely landing spot, where surf was crashing over the parking lot. The driver didn’t look too enthusiastic. I don’t know whether the race took place or not.

Fourth is that quintessential Hawaiian pastime – surfing. Watch out for those rocks!

Finally, a pair of northern pintails coast on a pool of water at Upolu. These used to be seen in large numbers in Hawaii, but not so much these days.

A pair of male northern pintails in Hawaii

Gecko games

  • A gold dust day gecko on a bird of paradise flower in Hawaii
  • A gold dust day gecko on a bird of paradise flower in Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘National Kids and Pets Day.’ See more responses here. I mentioned to Terri that I might have a hard time with this one, not having kids or pets, and she suggested I could use the ‘pet’ geckos around here.

So here’s a gold dust day gecko playing hide and seek with me from a bird of paradise flower.

Also posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here.

Rainbow violet

A Rainbow over the road in North Kohala, Hawaii
A Phalaenopsis orchid in Hawaii
A Japanese white-eye on a Japanese aloe flower

The seventh and final installment of my rainbow colors in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ (See more responses here.) ‘Violet’ also happens to be this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme, which is what gave me the rainbow series idea in the first place. (See more responses here.)

My last rainbow spans the main highway to North Kohala. This is a good spot to see rainbows in the afternoon. It’s cloudy and wet toward Kohala Mountain on the right, sunny and dry down by the coast on the left.

This phalaenopsis orchid falls somewhere in the violet/purple range. This was another instance where I looked up the official RGB color values for violet and found quite a range of possibilities.

The final photo has a Japanese white-eye sampling the good things on offer in a Japanese aloe flower, backed up by a bold and bright splash of violet bougainvillea flowers.

Rainbow orange

A rainbow over Kawaihae, Hawaii
Orange flags by a pedestrian crossing
An orange Kou flower in Hawaii

This is the second of my little series of rainbow colors in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ (See more responses here.)

In the top photo, a rainbow arcs over the port of Kawaihae.

Below that are orange flags available for waving while crossing the street. I haven’t yet felt the need to use them, still being able to leap out of the way of drivers focused on their phones! Actually, drivers here are pretty good about stopping for people to cross the street. I’m more surprised by how many people will just step out into traffic 20 feet up from the crosswalk. Then they look aggrieved if you fail to stop instantaneously.

The bottom photo shows the lovely flower of the kou tree (Cordia subcordata). Kou is indigenous to Hawaii but is also a canoe plant, brought here by Polynesian settlers. It likes the sun and grows along the coast.

Rainbow red

A rainbow off the Kohala coast, Hawaii
A bright red hibiscus flower
The door of St. Augustine's Episcopal Church in Kapaau, Hawaii

This month’s Becky’s Squares challenge theme is ‘Bright.’ (See more responses here.) Since I plan to post some bright colors in response, I thought I’d do that using a rainbow theme.

I’m starting with a rainbow off the north Kohala coast followed by a bright red hibiscus flower growing wild on that same coast. The third photo shows the front door of St. Augustine’s Episcopal Church in Kapaau, illuminated by a single bright light.

Maiapilo

Maiapilo flowers in Hawaii
Maiapilo flowers in Hawaii
A bee forages on a Maiapilo flower in Hawaii

Maiapilo (Capparis sandwichiana) is an endemic plant that requires little water once established and is also salt tolerant. This means it grows well on the dry side of the island along the coast. This of course is also an area popular with humans, both for living and recreation. Consequently, maiapilo is considered an at risk plant.

Its standout feature is the beautiful white flowers, but if you want to see them, bring a flashlight or be prepared to get up early. Maiapilo blooms at night and begins to wilt early in the morning, fading to pink as it does so.

These photos were taken around nine in the morning and the bees were busy exploring and pollinating the flowers. At night though, native moths are the main pollinators, attracted by the white flowers and pleasant lemon scent. A cucumber-like fruit follows the flowers but, unlike them, it is said to have a very pungent smell.

The plant can be low-growing and sprawling, or a more upright shrub reaching 10 feet.