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Hula Plant Photo of the Day: ‘Ilima

April 4, 2013

‘Ilima in bloom

‘Ilima (Sida fallax) is our hula plant of the day, honoring the fifth day and the 50th anniversary of the Merrie Monarch Festival. The bright blooms range from yellowish to orange and are woven into stunning lei ‘ā‘ī, or neck lei. The flowers are picked early in the morning, before they open. According to “Plants in Hawaiian Culture”  author Beatrice Krauss, at least 1,000 flowers are required to make a single lei ‘ā‘ī, or neck lei.

‘Ilima are indigenous, and can be found from sea level to more than 6,000 feet and they take many forms, growing low to the ground, or as shrubs up to 10 feet tall. The edges of their leaves are scalloped, as seen in this photo.

Please visit the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association park stores for an array of books and other merchandise celebrating all things Hawaiian.


Lovely clusters of ‘ilima flowers are shown.


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