Hawaiian Shade Plants

Most people think that plants in tropical paradise such as Hawaii will need full sun to grow. However, some of the plants do thrive in the shade on the islands. There were various types of plants that live under shades and contribute towards Hawaii’s cultural uses. When there are inhabitants in the Hawaiian Islands, plants are the sources for food, gourds to carry clothes, water, instruments, ropes and fishing nets. Below are some of the Hawaiian shade plants, which are popular because of their versatile uses:

  • Heliconia Aemygdiana is a subspecies of the trasdiana plant. This plant is originally from South Africa, which features broad leaves, intense colored rose bracts and thick stems. The leaves are shiny and erect and grow up to 6 feet. This plant is usually planted for garden landscaping and will do well if it is sheltered from the wind using some shade.
  • As the name suggested, Pink Anthurium or Hawaiian Volcano plant grows in volcanic cinder that was produced when the Kilauea Volcano erupted in 1955. They usually work as houseplants and do well in the shade. These plants are known for their glossy green colored foliage and bright pink flowers. They will grow for a long period when they enjoy good growing conditions.
  • During summer and spring seasons, the Etlingera Venusta has flowers in a dramatic torchiere shapes. This ginger plant grows about 7 to 8 feet tall and blooms prolifically with flowers approximately 2 to 3 feet. The Etlingera Venusta is easy to grow under tropical conditions and tolerates with medium shade to full sunlight.
  • The common name for Cordyline fruticosa is the Hawaiian Ti plant. This plant can thrive in a shady exposure as well as in the full sunlight. The leaves are pink and green in color depending on the area it grows, as the pink leaves resulted while grown in shade while the green leaves when the plants are grown on the full sunlight. It can grow up to 10 feet with medium growth rate. The leaves can be used as food wrappings and decorative displays. It also considered as the “good luck plant”.

Image Credit:

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Additional Reading:

Hawaiian Heritage Plants (Latitude 20 Books)

Growing Native Hawaiian Plants: A How-To Guide for the Gardener