I think the stark contrast – going from dormant brown to vivid green in January – is what caused me to be obsessed with some of the greener trees of Hawai’i. Gail and I were on a mission to find out what a particular evergreen was called – finally discovering they were Cook Pine - that grow straight and tall with large, thick needles. And, you guessed it, they are named after Captain James Cook, the British explorer. In the late 1700s he brought the pines to Hawai’i in order to have a ready supply to replenish ship masts.
Apparently, most of the flora of Hawai’i was transplanted from various ports around the world. What is so amazing is that Hawai’i is able to sustain the most beautiful flowers and trees from almost region, just about any climate. Another tree I discovered on the drive to Hana is the Rainbow Eucalyptus. We wondered and wondered about the name of the tree and Gail ran across it upon our return home. It has the most amazing trunk, streaked with red, yellow, orange, blue and green splashes – no kidding! Usually, they were seen in small groups, almost in rows, which made them seem zen-like. The word is that these trees were imported from either South America or Australia – no one knows for sure.
Of course, Hawai’i has so many beautiful flowering plants. One of my favorite places was in upcountry Maui, a lovely aromatherapy garden at Maui Spa Retreat. They had a few different species of protea, as well as lemon verbena, lavender and so many other wonderful herbal plants.
When summer arrives and you are ready to see vibrant colors and greenery once again, be sure to contact Hawai’i Travel Solutions and we will send you on your way to the Garden Isles of Hawai’i.