The flowers in Tahiti fill the senses with a wonderment that is hard too explain. Visually perfect, and fragrantly seducing, everyone should experience the splendor of the flora on Tahiti once before they die.
A loverly bunch of coconuts
One can not imagine paradise without thinking of swaying palm trees. The story of how the coconut palm came to be is rich in romance and the Tahitian people love to tell the tale.
Tuna was in love with Sina. Sina was loved by many, and jealous suitors killed Tuna. Just before his death, Tuna told Sina that he was about to die, and placed his dying wish in her hands. Once I am dead, Tuna told her, cut off my head and plant it in the ground. He told her from his head a beautiful tree would grow to produce luscious fruit that would both feed her and keep her from thirst. On the fruit itself she would see his eyes that had adored her, and a mouth that spoke words of love.
Sina did as Tuna asked, and out of his dying wish came the coconut palm.
Not even the best perfumes
The succulent aromas of Tahitian flowers can mesmerize even the weakest romantic.
- Tiare gardenia taitensis or the Tahitian Gardenia, is Tahiti’s national flower. It is said to have many healing powers, most notably for migraines and earaches. The most prominent flower of the Tiare Tahiti, the welcoming Tahitian lei, this gardenia has lush evergreen leaves and bright white, fragrant blossoms.
- Hibiscus can be seen in abundance on Tahiti. Used to decorate buffet tables, luaus, and adorn the hair of men and women alike, hibiscus bloom for one day only, from sunrise to sunset. Many homes have lavish hibiscus hedges in colors of white, pink and red.
- Hibiscus worn behind the left ear means one is married or engaged.
- Worn behind the right ear means one is single.
- worn behind both ears means one is married, but looking.
- Worn backwards means one is available immediately.
- Bougainvillea or the Paper Flower, looks as if it’s made of tissue paper. It has a wide range of colors, from deep purple, crimson and orange to light pinks and whites. Commonly used in gardens, admirers must beware of the Paper Flower’s large thorns.
- Orchids, of which the most popular is the Tahitian Vanilla. Exported as a cash crop, the bean of the orchid takes five years to produce the delectable bean, which must be propagated by hand.