Tag Archives: Kou Tree

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.

Kou tree

Kou flower and bee

Kou flowersKou (Cordia subcordata) is an indigenous tree that was also brought over by Polynesian settlers. It was highly prized for its wood, which was used to make bowls and other containers.

The flowers are beautiful, too. Less than two inches across, they grow in clumps, which are sometimes hidden by the shiny green leaves. The flowers are followed by small, round green fruits (seen in the photos to the left and below) which harden to a dark brown and contain white seeds.

The flowers on this tree were popular with a variety of insects including a honey bee, above, and a paper wasp (Polistes exclamans), below.

Kou flower and paper wasp

Kou flower and wasp

Kou tree