Tropical Flower Guide

Tropical Flower Care Instructions

  • Soak flowers in tap water for 15 minutes. (Except fuzzy-type protea and cymbidium orchids)
  • While flowers are submerged in water, cut 1/2 inch off from end of stem at a 45 degree angle. This insures that the water is drawn into the entire stem to help keep the flower fresh.
  • Create your beautiful tropical flower arrangement.
  • Clip stems a 1/2 inch and change water every 2 to 3 days. This enables water back into the stem to hydrate flower and improve longevity.


    Anthurium (Anthurium andreaenum)
    Known as the "heart of Hawaii" the various cultivars of the anthurium family are of the longest lasting tropical flowers in arrangements, and can last up to 2 1/2 weeks. The original anthurium was brought to Hawaii by an English missionary, Samuel Damon, in 1889 from Colombia.


    Obake anthurium
    Can come in a large range of colors from muted pinks and pastel greens, to bright red and green combinations. Obake means "ghost" or "change" in Japanese, describing their enigmatic coloration, and also their unpredictable individual variation.


    Tulip Anthurium
    Also known as "Calypso", is a novelty anthurium and each spathe is individually cupped like a tulip petal. Available in red, purple, lavendar, lime green, white, and blush.


    Bird-of-paradise (Strelitzia reginae)
    The flower head of the bold and colorful bird-of-paradise resembles a birds head, and is one of the most popular tropical flowers used in arrangements. The scientific name means queenly strelitzia and is said to have originated in South Africa and evolved in Madagascar, an island off the east coast of Africa.


    Ginger (Zingiberaceae)
    Flowery red "ostrich plumes", "torches", golden "beehives" to delicate and fragrant "butterflies"... many ornamental gingers, primarily from Indo-Malaysia, have been introduced into Hawaii during the past century. There are approximately 1,400 species including the edible species.


    Red Ginger (Alpinia purpurata)
    Hawaiian name: "awapuhi-ula-ula". A native to the western pacific, the red color and strong form of the red ginger makes it a favorite for cut flower bouquets and can last 1 1/2 to 2 weeks.


    Pink Ginger (Alpinia purpurata)
    Another popular and long lasting flower for bouquets, came to Hawaii from Tahiti in 1973.


    Heliconias
    Splendid splashes of color, dramatic form, long lasting, and a variety of sizes, make this a favorite for exotic tropical flower arrangements. The name Heliconia (pronounced "hell-ee-cone-ee-uh") honors Mt. Heliconia, home of the ancient Greek gods. There are between 250-400 species or more, with 98 percent native to tropical America.


    Erect Heliconias
    The erect heliconias grow upright with brightly colored waxy bracts and are the largest of the heliconias.


    Heliconia Psittacorum
    These small, dainty and destinctively exotic heliconias add splashes of color to any flower arrangement. There are several varieties with names such as, "false bird of paradise", "parrot's beak", "parakeet", and many more.


    Proteas
    The genus Protea comes from the Greek god Proteus, who could assume many shapes. When people comment on this native of South Africa and Australia, words such as "amazing", "out of this world", and "magnificent," are used.


    Pink Mink
    There are several varieties of proteas ranging from "fuzzy" or "feathery", like the pink mink, to the colorful and spiny pincushions which resemble sea urchins. The blooms are very long lasting in arrangements and are used either fresh or dried.


    Pincushion Protea
    Resembling the spiny sea urchins, pincushions are a good accent to any arrangement. Although not as long lasting or to use as a dry flower, pincushions come in beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow.