top of page

Finding 'Ohana - Hawaiian Flowers for Love

Updated: Mar 23, 2021

What is Ohana?

 By Masami Matsuoka

 Ohana means "family" in the Native Hawaiian language. But the true definition of Ohana for Hawaiians is slightly different from the family that we think. Since voyagers who crossed the Pacific and landed in Hawaii had to live with nature with limited resources to survive, they had to promote unity. The word Ohana is imbued with love, trust, support, and compassion.

 Netflix recently released the new original movie Finding ‘Ohana, which probably reminds lots of people of The Goonies(1985) and Indiana Jones(1981), but Hawaiian version. There are already many family movies filmed in Hawaii, such as Jurassic Park(1993) & Jurassic World(2015), and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle(2017), e.t.c., but Finding Ohana is perfect to watch with your kids and get to know the Hawaiian culture together; there are some Hawaiian legends, myths, rituals, and courtesy. You will also catch more than 100 Hawaiian words in the movie through the adventure with great views of Oahu including Kualoa Ranch, and Chinaman's Hat; known as Mokoli'i Island.

<Hawaiian Flower Symbolism>

Meaning of Tropical Flowers in Hawaii

 Speaking of how important is Ohana in Hawaii, I want to share one of the most significant tropical flowers in Hawaii that is the symbolism of love.

Plumeria / Pua Melia (Plumeria flower in Hawaiian word)

 Flowers have a huge significance in Hawaiian culture. The plumeria flower is one of the most notable and adored flowers that has a strong connection to Hawaiian culture.

Iconic Tropical Flower, Hawaiian Flower, Plumeria
Iconic Tropical Flower in Hawaii - Plumeria Flower
  • The plumeria represents love and birth. Also, spring and new beginnings.

  • Plumeria has a wide variety of colors; white, yellow, orange, crimson, a range of pink and purple.

  • These are all sweet fragranced and often used to make leis, which is Hawaiian traditional garland that people wear around their necks.

  • What does a flower in your hair mean in Hawaii? You've probably seen girls wear a tropical flower in their hair on Hawaiian postcards or posters. This is not only for fashion. Many women still follow a Hawaiian custom which is if you are married or engaged, put up the plumeria in your hair over the left ear as an adornment. And if you are looking for someone, then put it on the right side.

*A word of caution: Plumeria trees can be found everywhere in the Hawaiian landscape. However, certain types of plumeria trees, not all of them, have white sticky sap oozing out from some part of the tree or if you picked. And this white sap will cause rash and blistering. So just be careful if you see plumeria growing in the wild. (References: Poisonous Plants of Hawaii Identification Guide, Poisonous Hawaiian Plants )

 Due to the meaning of the flower and also prettiness and variety of color choice, plumeria has deep-rooted popularity on the island. And the flower is captured in lots of gifts and souvenirs to bring the wonderful memories of the vacation or sharing Aloha with your Ohana!! As well as, a perfect flower to incorporate into a family portrait or couple, wedding pictures!


<Check our products>

Custom Fit Hawaiian Shirts - We offer Custom Shirts making service! You can pick any fabrics from our store selection! Take a look at the Hawaiian Fabric selection at Fabric Hawaii.

Wearing Aloha shirts and Hawaiian dresses is the perfect dress code for Luau shows or dinner cruise in Hawaii.  In Hawaii, aloha shirts are a key component of men's business wear, not shirts for just your vacation!

557 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page