The ginger flowers of Micronesia come in red, yellow and white and are lovely blossoms that make eye-catching leis. The traditional Hawaiian name for this plant is the Awapuhi, and the scientific name is Zingiber officinale. The flower has a long, narrow shape and a strong scent that makes it perfect for use in perfumes. Because these flowers come in such vivid colors, they are not tinted. A ginger lei can last about two days if it is refrigerated after it has arrived.
A red ginger flower lei symbolizes tolerance, passion and wealth. A white ginger flower lei symbolizes affection and love. This plant was originally from India, and the early Polynesians brought it to the Hawaiian islands. It is now plentiful in Hawaii, both a cultivated plant and one that can be found growing wild. Ginger flowers are braided or sewn together to create leis that are single or double stranded. Sometimes, ginger flowers are used with ti leaves for a different look. Ginger flowers leis are unisex, though females usually wear them. This lei is a perfect gift for birthdays, to celebrate occasions like promotions and for graduations. Each fresh ginger lei found below can add a special touch to any occasion.
Hawaiian Names: Awapuhi is the wild ginger variety that grows in the forest on stalks up to 60 cm in height. The yellow flowers have underground stems that are aromatic, and the plant is native to India. The root was commonly used to dye and scent tapa.
Awapuhi Keʻo Keʻo is the white ginger varietal. It is also native to India and is a large herb that now grows wild in Hawaii as well as being cultivated. The flowers are fragrant and used on both leis and perfume.