Types of Hawaiian Flowers Tattoos

Hawaii is well known for its luaus, hula dancers, surfing and laid-back culture. If you have lived in Hawaii or visited it while on vacation and you want to carry a little bit of the islands with you, then consider getting a Hawaiian flower tattoo. A tattoo is a simple and elegant way to remind yourself of the joys of being in the lush tropical state.

Popular Hawaiian Flowers

There are approximately 156 species of Hawaiian flowers and plants and only half of those are native to the area. The other half were introduced to the islands by the many adventurers that landed upon its shores. Here are two popular Hawaiian flowers that would make great tattoos.

Hibiscus Flower

The official state flower of Hawaii is the yellow hibiscus. These flowers are large, shaped like trumpets, and come in a range of colors including white, red, yellow, pink, and purple. The hibiscus has as number or practical uses including as an edible ingredient in chutney and tea, to make dye, to polish shoes, and even to control high blood pressure.

The flower has many meanings. In Hawaii, A woman that wears a red hibiscus behind her left ear is said to have a lover or husband while one behind the right ear is said to be seeking one. It is also associated with the Goddess Kali in Hinduism. In the Language of flowers, hibiscus symbolizes “delicate beauty”.


Although native to Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, the plumeria is an intricate part of Hawaiian culture. Often these flowers are used to make leis which are draped over visitors to the islands as a form of welcome and friendship. The plumeria is related to the oleander plant and blooms almost year round. It comes in a number of colors including white, pink, and deep rose and sometimes features a unique design where the yellow center gradually fades into the flower’s primary color.

Plumeria represents romance, love, and sensuality. It is a highly fragrant flower that fills the night air in Hawaii. In some areas, this flower also symbolizes spirituality and is used to cast love spells by those that believe in magic. Like the hibiscus flower, a woman that wears a plumeria behind her right ear is available for a relationship; worn behind the left ear means she’s taken.

Other Hawaiian flowers that would make great tattoos include the plumbago, Brazilian snapdragon, Bengal trumpet, Blackeyed Susan vine, Bird of Paradise, Allamanda, and the Japanese Thimbleweek.

Tips for Designing Your Tattoo

The culture of Hawaii can be a source of inspiration when it comes to using Hawaiian flowers in your tattoos. You can design your tattoo so that the flower is the focus of the body art or incorporate these beautiful flowers in an elaborate design featuring other elements important to you. For example, if you love surfing, you can have a surfboard sitting in a bouquet of hibiscus flowers tattooed on your arm. Other symbols associated with Hawaii include sea turtles, dolphins, hula girls, and ocean waves.

Although it is mostly women that get tattoos of Hawaiian flowers, they are seen on men too. Male or female, the key to getting a great tattoo is to choose a design that represents who you are as a person and your interests. Think about what Hawaii means to you and then brainstorm or search for images that will help you tell that story.

Hawaiian flowers come in a range of colors. Don’t be afraid to use those colors to create interesting body art. A creative and imaginative tattoo artist can help you design a great piece of art that you will enjoy wearing for years to come.