Common Beach Plant In Hawaii

Common Beach Plant in Hawaii
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Some say there’s a love story behind Naupaka Kahakai, the beach plant. But let’s first take a look at what this plant is.

• General: Educational

This beach plant is the only one out of 8 types of Hawaiian Naupaka that can be found in other places of the world. It’s name simply means naupaka by the sea, and it really is common near all the sea’s of Hawaii.

The Naupaka Kahakai plant is light green, thick, and shiny. The flowers are tiny and white with purple streaks. Only the bottom portion of the flower has pedals. Although the plant can grow to be 10 ft. tall, you rarely see it that way. Most plants you’ll see are shorter than you, but will be stretched out a distance (15-20 ft.).

So here’s how this get’s interesting: There happens to be another kind of Naupaka in the mountains. The only difference is the flower growing off this plant has the upper portion of pedals, the exact opposite from the Naupaka Kahakai.

Here comes the myth, and love story of Naupaka:

The goddess Pele (goddess of volcanoes in Hawaiian religion), became jealous of the two devoted lovers. She would try her best to appear desirable before the young man but it would never work.

Angry and frustrated, Pele hunted the young man down and threw molten lava at him. She chased him to the mountains.

But Pele’s sister saw what was happening, and changed him into the mountain Naupaka plant to save him from a certain death. Pele didn’t stop. She then went after the young woman and chased her to the sea, and again Pele’s sister saved her by turning her into the beach Naupaka plant.

It’s told that if the two plants every reunite, the two young lovers will be together again.