Hula Girl hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinesis)
Location: Kohala Coast, Big Island, Hawaii
This bright yellow blossom with the ruby red throat is the Hula Girl hibiscus, another cultivar of Hibiscus rosa-sinesis. This hibiscus has several interesting characteristics that set it apart from other hibiscus varieties. First of all, the blossom is larger than most. The average Hula Girl blossom is about 5 to 6 inches (12 to 15 cm) wide -- definitely the largest hibiscus blossom in our garden. (In fact we think their size makes them look a bit like yellow satellite dishes!)
Another characteristic of the Hula Girl hibiscus is that, unlike most other hibiscus varieties, the blossom does not immediately wilt and die when it is picked from the bush on which it grows. Because it stays fresh for quite awhile after it is picked, this variety is the one you will most often see worn by hula dancers in their hair, or tucked behind the ear, and that is said to be how the Hula Girl hibiscus got its name.