Planning a Garden with White Tropical Flowers from Hawaii
Hawaii is famously known for its exotic flora – an astounding variety of tropical flowers in every color, shade, and hue of the rainbow!
But the islands also have an abundance of flowers in simple, plain white color. From pure white to creamy white, these beautiful flowers grow everywhere: in the gardens and parks, on the beaches, in the rainforests, or along the roadsides. White tropical flowers come in a multitude of sizes and shapes; some are native to Hawaii, others are introduced species.
To compensate for the lack of brilliant colors (as often seen in tropical flowers), many white tropical flowers have developed a unique characteristic: they secrete intoxicating scents. The perfume is usually released during night time, making these flowers more “visible” and thus attracting insects for pollination.
Note: The photos in this gallery are photographed at the author’s property in lower coastal Puna on the Big Island (USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 12b). The flowers featured here represent only a small percentage of white flowering species that can be found in Hawaii. There are many more! For example, orchids alone have hundreds of white color varieties.
White Flower Gardening Tips
- White flowers provide a “cooling” effect for the garden, especially in Hawaii where it’s hot and humid year round!
- They are a perfect choice for dark or shady corners of the garden because they magically lighten up those areas!
- They appear to “glow” at dusk, especially when planting en masse, creating a dreamy and enchanted look for the garden in the evening.
- They blend in well with flowers of any other colors, as well as the surrounding green foliage, because white is a neutral color.
- When planted next to other brightly colored flowers (e.g. red, yellow, orange), white flowers reduce the intensity of those bright colors, thus giving the garden a more balanced, harmonious look.
Did You Know
White is the color most associated with light, purity, and peace.
In Western culture, white flowers symbolize virginity, devotion, and virtue; they are traditionally used in weddings (white roses) or religious celebrations (Easter lilies).
In Eastern culture, white is the color of mourning and white flowers are often seen at funerals as they symbolize reincarnation or new beginning.
The author planted many white flowers in his garden. His favorite is the elegant white ginger.
All photos were taken by the author with an Olympus Stylus TG-630 iHS digital camera and iPhone 6.
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