{ 15. } Ilima Pua
(ee-lee-ma poo-a)
The ilima flower resembles a miniature hibiscus and ranges in color from yellow, orange, red, or brown. It takes approximately 400 to 500 ilima flowers to strand a single lei. Symbolic of love, the ilima is the lei flower for Oahu. It grows low to the ground along the shore to protect itself from the harsh wind and salt spray. The leaves of the ilima papa have a soft fuzz which helps the plant reflect some of the sun’s energy, slowing down the evaporation process.
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Photo: Forest & Kim Starr

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