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The Most Common Flowers Used in Hawaiian Lei

The people of Hawaii have been making and wearing beautiful flower garlands known as lei for generations. These lei are a beautiful tradition that symbolizes the Aloha spirit that makes the islands famous. Here are the most common flowers used in Hawaiian lei.

Orchids

One of the most popular types of flowers people make lei with are orchids. These flowers are sturdy and stunning, which is why they’ve been a top choice for lei-making for hundreds of years. There are about 1,200 species of orchids, but the dendrobium variety is the most common for lei. You will often see lei made of white and purple orchids. However, shades of green, pink, and yellow are also popular. These flowers represent love, affection, and beauty, so they are great lei options for weddings, graduations, and other special events.

Pikake

Pikake is another common flower seen in lei-making. “Pikake” is the Hawaiian name for the Arabian Jasmine flower. These flowers were first brought to the Hawaiian islands in the 1800s and quickly grew popular among the royals. Pikake flowers are small, white, and delicate and are loved for their strong and delightful fragrance. They are symbolic of love and romance and are most common among women. These lei are an ideal choice for weddings and anniversaries.

Carnations

You will also see a lot of carnations in the Hawaiian lei tradition. These flowers were brought to Hawaii by Protestant missionaries in the 1800s and became a favorite of King Kalakaua. Carnations come in various colors, but red and white are the most popular for lei. White is more common for women and symbolizes purity and femininity. The red carnations are often worn by men and represent boldness, power, and strength. Carnation lei are great for graduations, birthdays, and luaus.

Tuberose

Tuberose is another essential flower used for Hawaiian lei. The tuberose flower is small, delicate, and white and has an unmistakable scent loved by many. The sweet and long-lasting fragrance of these flowers is part of what makes them so popular. Because of their small size, people often double-string the tuberose or pair them with other flowers in the lei. They can also be tinted pink, yellow, blue, or purple to add some color. A tuberose lei is a lovely option for weddings and funerals.

Now that you know the most popular flowers in Hawaiian lei, you can find the one you like best. Check out Hawaii Lei Stand for our gorgeous collection of Hawaiian lei, including our fresh orchid lei, which is a favorite among many.