Hello Friends and Family,

1981 - Hawa‘i, the Big Island, Part 4

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

The Big Island is home to many growers of tropical flowers — and, of course, the landscaping of most homes and businesses is loaded with beautiful blossoms. One of the most common grows on trees — plumeria. There are many varieties, all white, all pink, all yellow, and mixed white together with any of the other colors. And they smell very nice too. They are commonly used in leis.

Here we see torch ginger, a showy addition to any tropical garden. To me, they look a bit like melted red wax. Still pretty cool.

I'm not an expert but I think this is another variety of red ginger — lovely. The flowers are long-lived (up to three weeks) and are favorites in the displays in large vases in the hotels.

This exotic blossom is that of the heliconia. Common names for the genus include lobster-claws, toucan beak, wild plantain, or false bird-of-paradise.

Here is another variety of heliconia (quite a bit different than that in the previous photo). Most varieties originated in Central or South America although a few were found in Pacific Islands.

Next up is an orchid (everyone recognizes these flowers) — specifically, a Cattleya orchid. These are also native to South America.

Wow, here is a red banana tree with ripe fruit. Go to Hawai‘i and look for them in grocery stores or farmer's markets. They are much more flavorful than the Cavendish varieties common on the mainland. Whenever I traveled to the Islands, I always had some local bananas in my condo to enjoy at any time of day or night — they are wonderful.

OMG — an incredible Royal Poinciana tree! This variety is noted for its fern-like leaves and flamboyant display of orange-red flowers over summer. Since I liked to visit Maui for the County Fair, I was normally there in October — when the showy blossoms were fewer in number — but still quite nice!

Here we see an African Tulip Tree known as the “flame of the forest” in Hawai‘i has become known for its ability to outcompete and threaten native plants. To conserve the native forests, people in Hawai‘i are encouraged to stop planting African Tulip Trees and to remove them if they have one.

Does anyone not know the pineapple plant? According to Wikipedia, "In the 20th century, Hawai‘i was a dominant producer of pineapples, especially for the US; however, by 2016, Costa Rica, Brazil, and the Philippines accounted for nearly one-third of the world's production of pineapples." You can still take a Pineapple Farm Tour on Maui (cost $75) — all guests receive a boxed, airport-ready pineapple!

I hope you enjoyed our four-week tour of the Big Island even though there is much more to see, some of which I have previously shared. It is a special place — put it on your bucket list.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com