The Beauty Around Us

Showcases Portraiture, Scenic & Nature Photography and Feaures a Photo Journal Blog

It’s Bloomin’ Tuesday!

Bob and I vacationed on the Island of Hawaii from May 17 through May 31. We saw a variety of flowers. I will share one flowering shrub with you today.

This is a Naupaka shrub. Naupaka may be found in the mountains or near the beach. I found this Naupaka on Pine Trees Beach, located a little north of the Kona airport.

According to an Internet source, there are nine different species of naupaka, which typically grow up to 10 feet tall and six to 15 feet wide. The plant has large leaves with flowers in small clusters. The flowers are typically white with purplish streaks. The fruits are white.

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The flower’s unique appearance—it resembles a half-flower, with petals missing—caused early Hawaiians to believe it was the incarnation of an ancient native separated from her lover.

In ancient times, one version goes, there was a beautiful Hawaiian princess known as Naupaka. One day, the villagers noticed that Naupaka looked very sad. They told her parents, who approached Naupaka and asked her what was troubling her.

“I have fallen in love with a man named Kaui,” replied the princess. “But Kaui is not of noble birth—he is a commoner.” According to Hawaiian tradition, it was strictly forbidden for members of royalty to marry people from the common ranks.

Distressed, Naupaka and Kaui traveled long and far, seeking a solution to their dilemma. They climbed up a mountain to see a kahuna who was staying at a heiau (temple). Alas, he had no clear answer for the young lovers. “There is nothing I can do,” he told them, “but you should pray. Pray at this heiau.”

So they did. And as they prayed, rain began to fall. Their hearts torn by sorrow, Naupaka and Kaui embraced for a final time. Then Naupaka took a flower from her ear and tore it in half, giving one half to Kaui. “The gods won’t allow us to be together,” she said. “You go live down by the water, while I will stay up here in the mountains.”

As the two lovers separated, the naupaka plants that grew nearby saw how sad they were. The very next day, they began to bloom in only half flowers.

If you’d like to see more Bloomin’ Tuesday photographs, please visit Ms Green “thumb” Jean.

11 Responses to “It’s Bloomin’ Tuesday!”

  1. Arne

    Star-crossed lovers – Hawaiian style! Touching story.Arne

    Reply
  2. Suzanne

    Oh, I loved that story. What a beautiful way to explain away that unusual flower! You must have had a fabulous time!

    Reply
  3. Andrea

    You are a great story teller, very organized narration of your trip.You chose the best room there, beside the rhododendron. I really love the way you weave your narration to send us your real experience. And i ended up envying your vacation. I've been to Hawaii once few years ago, been to Kona too, and oh how i miss the coffee! Thanks also for dropping by my blogsite and your kind words.

    Reply
  4. Betsy from Tennessee

    Hi Linda, What a gorgeous shrub. Interesting info about the Naupaka. Isn't it amazing what we learn about things when we visit other places????Great post –especially for Bloomin' Tuesday.Hugs,Betsy

    Reply
  5. Glennis

    Nice to read the historical story behind the flower, its quite a small but pretty half flower.Had never heard of this plant before.

    Reply
  6. Rose

    I would like to see this in person…I bet it was gorgeous…and I like the half flowers…

    Reply
  7. Cynthia

    Beautiful photo, beautiful story! I too definitely like the way you narrate your experiences. I have never been to Hawaii, so this is a treat to see and learn about it.

    Reply

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