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Hawaii State Flower

Native Yellow Hibiscus Hibiscus brackenridgei A. Gray Adopted:1988
Hawaii State Flower: Native Yellow Hibiscus
Hawaii Official Flower: Native Yellow Hibiscus

Adoption of the Hawaii State Flower

In 1912, the Outdoor Circle was established by a group of women to beautify Honolulu and its surrounding areas by planting beautiful trees and flowers. The mission of the Outdoor Circle expanded to "preserve, protect and enhance Hawaii's scenic environment for future generations" and in the 1920s the Outdoor Circle began advocating underground wiring, landscaping military bases, and working toward the elimination of billboards on the island of O'ahu. The Outdoor Circle also promoted adoption of pua aloalo (hibiscus) as an official floral emblem to represent Hawaii.

On May 2, 1923, the territorial legislature, with the "encouragement" of the Outdoor Circle, approved Joint Resolution No. 1 designating the pua aloalo (hibiscus) the flower emblem of Hawaii.

Hawaii State Flower: Native Yellow Hibiscus
Hawaii Official Flower: Native Yellow Hibiscus

The legislation referred to the flower as an "indigenous blossom", offering "a variety in color and form" and did not specify one particular color. Red was often chosen and portrayed as the color of the flower emblem, but this color was not officially specified by Joint Resolution No. 1.

In 1988, almost thirty years after Hawaii entered the Union, the issue of an official state flower was addressed. Though long considered the state flower, the hibiscus wasn't really "official" in the minds of some. By act 177, approved on June 6, 1988, the Hawaii Legislature adopted the native yellow hibiscus (Hibiscus brackenridgei A. Gray), also known as the pua aloalo or ma`o-hau-helewas, as the "official flower of the State."

In 2000, section 5-16 of the Hawai'i Revised Statutes was amended to name an official flower or lei material for each island. House Bill No. 750, introduced in January 1999 specified island flowers as listed in section 5-16 below. It also added section 5-16.5 to name an official color for each of the islands. Act 165 of the 2000 Hawaii Legislature, prompted by House Bill No. 750 was signed by Governor Benjamin J. Cayetano on June 9, 2000.

The Hawai`i Revised Statutes

The following information is excerpted from the Hawai`i Revised Statutes, Volume 1, Chapter 5, Section 5-16. The 1988 version and the 2004 version of section 5-16 are listed.

Additional Information

Hawaii Official Flower: Native Yellow Hibiscus

Flowers of Hawaii: from

Pua Aloalo: Hawaii's Honored Hibiscus: Copyright July, 1999 by Naomi Mathews. NOTE: Mrs. Mathews' reference to adoption of the ilima as Hawaii's state flower is not correct; the pua aloalo (hibiscus) was adopted by the 1923 Joint Resolution.

Plant Profile for Hibiscus brackenridgei Gray ( Brackenridge's rosemallow): USDA, NRCS. 2004. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.

Rare and Endangered Plant: Hibiscus brackenridgei from the United States Botanic Garden.

State Flower List: List of all of the state flowers.

State Birds & Flowers 1000-pc Puzzle: Created at the request of The National Wildlife Federation this design is a beautiful and informative puzzle featuring every state bird perched on the appropriate state flower.

State Birds and Flowers Coloring Book by Annika Bernhard - 51 accurately detailed, copyright-free renderings include national bird (eagle) and flower (rose) plus 50 state birds and flowers.

U. S. State Flowers in Cross Stitch by Gerda Bengtsson - Botanically correct cross stitch designs of state flowers of the 50 States.

Quilting Flowers of the States by Sue Harvey - A lovely 12-inch flower block for each of the 50 states. Techniques used are piecing, appliqué, paper-piecing and three-dimensional techniques.

Plants, Seeds & Flowers: Bulbs, seeds, plants, fertilizer, plant containers and more.

Gardening Tools: Pruners, rakes, shovels, hoes, trowels, cultivators and tillers, greenhouses, yard carts and more.

State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002

Source: Hawaii State Legislature, (, June 17, 2005
Source: The Hawaii State Public Library System, (, June 16, 2005
Source: State Names, Seals, Flags, and Symbols: A Historical Guide, Third Edition - Benjamin F. Shearer and Barbara S. Shearer, Greenwood Press, 2002

To Georgia Floral Emblem. To Idaho State Flower.


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