Hawaiian Flora

Hawaiian Flora

September 17, 2021

Coming to Hawaii, the Department of Agriculture requires each visitor to declare any flora and fauna coming into the state.

Due to the remote nature of the islands, Hawaii has one of the most unique ecosystems on the planet, which means that alien flora and fauna need to be documented before introduced to the environment. Approximately 90% of flora on the islands is endemic to Hawaii, making the region that much more delicate.

Hawaiian soil is extremely fertile due to the dissemination from ash layers and the erosion of volcanic rock, making it a densely vegetative geographic area supporting many tropical plants. This means that the environment on the islands is able to support many non-endemic species, including some invasive. 

At Maui Girl we draw our inspiration from the islands, which is why we have multiple flora prints. Here are a few of our favorite flora featured throughout our prints.


  • Hibiscus

Called 'maʻo hau hele' or 'pua aloalo' in Hawaiian, yellow hibiscus is endemic to Hawaii. There are seven different kinds of hibiscus endemic to the islands. The yellow hibiscus is considered endangered and is our state flower. You can see it featured on our printed triangle top and printed hana bottom.

  • Plumeria

Called 'melia' in Hawaiian, plumeria is endemic to Central America and was brought over to the islands in 1860. Not only known for its beauty, plumeria have a sweet fragrance that intensifies when blooming and historically featured predominantly in funeral ceremonies on the island. Plumeria ranges in color from white and yellow to pinks and reds, which inspired our plumeria pink seen here as an accent on our Launiupoko top


  • Monstera Leaves

Endemic to Central America, the scientific name for monstera is, ‘monstera deliciosa,’ or delicious monster. Colloquially it’s known as the ‘Swiss cheese plant’ - much more friendly. Monstera actually produces a fruit (think jackfruit meets breadfruit, or 'ulu' in Hawaiian) that when ripe has a pineapple-like flavor. It’s scientific name comes from the fact that if you eat an unripe fruit, you’re likely to irritate the skin, so be careful. Check out our monstera print on our printed twist front halter top, available in red and blue or pink and turquoise. 


  • Botanical Print

Our botanical print features monstera leaves, ferns and hibiscus flowers. Hapu’u ferns are endemic to Hawaii and grow about three and a half inches a year, which means any large ferns you see throughout the islands are likely decades old. Most recently featured on our Maui Girl notebooks, this print was designed by a local artist, Caramiya Davies-Reid, and launched in our Ocean Girl line.

  • Royal Poinciana 

The Royal Poinciana tree is indigenous to Madagascar but was brought over to Hawai’i in the mid-19th century. The tree blooms in an umbrella shape and can blossom either yellow, orange, and red flowers, and inspired our newest color for the mesh rash guard set featured in Sports Illustrated’s 2021 Swimsuit Edition. 

What are some of your favorite flora, do you have any you’d like to see on a swimsuit? Let us know below or on social media, @MauiGirlSwimwear

All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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