Hawaiian Shade Plants

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Although people think of Hawaii as a tropical paradise with plants flowering in the full sun, some plants thrive in the shade on the islands. Plants are an integral part of the history of Hawaii, and scientists study ethnobotany to learn the traditional cultural uses of various plants. When the Hawaiian Islands were settled, inhabitants depended on plants to provide food, gourds to carry water, clothes, fishing nets, instruments and ropes.

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Hawaiian Ti Plant

The Hawaiian Ti Plant is the common name for Cordyline fruticosa. It can thrive in an shady exposure as well as in the full sun. This interesting plant has leaves that are pink and green. The pink color with some white becomes dominant when the plant is grown in the shade, and the green color dominates when the plant is grown in the sun. The Ti Plant grows to a height of 10 feet, with a medium growth rate. Leaves are used in decorative displays, and also as a wrapping for food. The Hawaiian Ti Plant is sometimes referred to as the “good luck plant.”

Hawaiian Volcano Plant – Pink Anthurium

The distinctive Hawaiian Volcano Plant is a Pink Anthurium grown in volcanic cinder that was produced when the Kilauea Volcano erupted on the island of Hawaii in 1955. They do well in the shade, and have been hybridized for use as houseplants. These plants have glossy green foliage and bright pink flowers. When they enjoy proper growing conditions, they flower for a long duration.

Etlingera Venusta

The Etlingera Venusta has flowers in a dramatic torchiere shape that appear during spring and summer seasons. This ginger plant blooms prolifically, and grows to 7 or 8 feet tall. The flowers are approximately 2 to 3 feet. The Etlingera Venusta is easy to grow under tropical conditions. It tolerates medium shade to full sun.

Heliconia Aemygdiana

The Heliconia Aemygdiana is a subspecies of the transdiana. Originally from South America, this plant features broad leaves, thick stems and dramatic, intensely colored slender rose bracts. It grows to 6 feet, and the leaves are shiny and erect. The plant will do well if it is sheltered from the wind with some shade.

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