A password will be e-mailed to you.

Tahitian Blossoms

© D.Pardon© D.PardonOrchid Tree © D.PardonGolden Shower Tree © D.PardonRainbow Shower Tree © D.PardonRainbow Shower (mixed pink variety) © D.PardonYellow Rainbow Shower © D.PardonRoyal Poinciana © D.PardonYellow Royal Poinciana © D.PardonCockspur Coral Tree © D.PardonCoral Tree © D.PardonPurau, Sea Hibiscus © D.PardonPride of India or Queen’s Crape Myrtle (pink variety) © D.PardonPurple Queen’s Crape Myrtle © D.PardonGolden Trumpet Tree © D.PardonPink Trumpet tree or Pink Tecoma © D.PardonSiris Tree, Flea Tree © D.Pardon
Tahitian Blossoms

Our islands are in a state of permanent enchantment with floral masterpieces on display all year long. We invite you to discover the secrets of these blossoms.

© D.Pardon

More than any other island, Tahiti has blended its people, fauna and flora into a precious resource. In fact, as soon as the first mä’ohi settlers set foot on the Polynesian islands, they introduced plants that were useful to them. By the 18th century and the arrival of the Europeans—and even later during the 19th century—there was a veritable influx of new species, some of which were destined for plantations (such as cotton, vanilla, cocoa and coffee), others as ornamental plants that quickly became invasive and devastating to indigenous and endemic flora (such as Spathodea campanulata or African tuliptree, miconia or lantana) but also harmless high quality ornamental plants that Polynesians adopted then dispersed around their surroundings. Thanks to these contributions of the past, visitors can bear witness to explosions of color throughout the seasons, often without leaving their hotel gardens. This kaleidoscope is especially stunning between March and November, although it continues throughout the year for some species. Some of these flowers bloom in full austral winter, allowing Polynesian landscapes, especially in Tahiti, to be permanently studded with a beautifully colored palette that inspires many artists to this day. We invite you to discover some of these species, although our list is far from exhaustive due to space constraints. However, at least we can represent some of the most spectacular plants along the glossy pages of this journey.

Bauhinia variegata

Orchid Tree

Originally from tropical South America, this orchid tree is part of the large legume family (Fabaceae). There are more than 250 species in the Bauhinia genre, all originally from the same geographic zone with the emergence of numerous hybrids. In French Polynesia, orchid trees have an exclusively ornamental function; however in some countries, these trees have medicinal value (the bark helps fight ulcers).

Cassia javanica x grandis

Rainbow Shower Tree

The tree that offers these flowers is the result of a hybridization of two species of cassia trees that flower very generously. With its undisputed beauty, the flowering of this hybrid is so spectacular that the tree was quickly dispersed throughout the tropics to decorate parks and gardens. During blooming, the branches appear to be literally covered in crimson sleeves of unparalleled beauty.

Cassia javanica x grandis

Rainbow Shower Tree

The tree that offers these flowers is the result of a hybridization of two species of cassia trees that flower very generously. With its undisputed beauty, the flowering of this hybrid is so spectacular that the tree was quickly dispersed throughout the tropics to decorate parks and gardens. During blooming, the branches appear to be literally covered in crimson sleeves of unparalleled beauty.

Cassia x nealii

Rainbow Shower (mixed pink variety)

This hybrid between cassia fistula and cassia javanica was originally created in Hawaii in 1925. The rainbow shower is desired for its flower bunches that can reach 80cm/31in. long. As with many hybrids, it rarely produces fruit as its purpose is primarily ornamental.

Cassia x nealii

Yellow Rainbow Shower

Since the hybridization of cassia javanica and cassia fistula in Hawaii, cassia xnealii cultivars have been increased in order to achieve a variety of nuances in color. Some of them such as this one produce very pale yellow bunches of flowers that are as luxuriant as those that blend yellows and pinks.

Delonix regia

Royal Poinciana

Originally from Madagascar, this tree from the Fabaceae family is widespread throughout the tropics even though it has become rare in Madagascar due to excessive deforestation. This flamboyant tree has a distinct feature in that it creates a flattened pod that contains seeds. The pod remains on the tree until the next blooming season.

Delonix regia

Yellow Royal Poinciana

This yellow flamboyant tree is not as common as the red; however, it is still very present in Tahiti where it provides much appreciated shade all year round. Its blooms are as spectacular as those belonging to its vermilion cousin. The hybridization between yellow and red flamboyant trees produces a magnificent medley of flowers.

Erythrina crista-galli

Cockspur Coral Tree

Native to Brazil, the cockspur belongs to the Fabaceae family. Unlike other Erythrina trees that only bloom during austral winters, this tree produces very thick bunches of flowers throughout most of the year. This gorgeous ornamental tree greatly appreciates sub-tropical/temperate climates over tropical climates that are too hot and humid, to which it adapts nevertheless.

Erythrina variegata

Coral Tree

The coral tree once had a very important role when it started to bloom (usually at the end of June), since it always coincided with the hump back whales arriving in French Polynesia to give birth to their young or to procreate. In ancient times in Rurutu, this phenomenon prompted whale harpooners to know when hunting season was about to start, which today has been replaced by whale watching.

Hibiscus tiliaceus

Purau, Sea Hibiscus

The sea hibiscus (purau in Tahitian), from the Malvaceae family, has several uses throughout the tropics. The flowers have the distinction of being light yellow in the morning, turning golden yellow by midday before transforming to orange by afternoon. Due to trade winds, they usually fall onto the ground by evening when they are almost a red-garnet color.

Lagestroemia speciosa

Pride of India or Queen’s Crape Myrtle (pink variety)

In English, this flower is often called the Rose of India; however this tree from the Lythraceae family most probably originated in the Philippines. The very resistant wood has many uses, including railroad ties. In Tahiti, the Pride of India has a uniquely ornamental purpose.

Lagestroemia speciosa

Purple Queen’s Crape Myrtle

The Queen’s Crepe Myrtle is usually pink, but depending on the variety, the flowers can vary from white to purple. It has dry fruit, oval or round pods around 2-2.5cm in diameter (1 in.), which is sometimes used to create beautiful flower compositions that can last a long time.

Tabebuia heterophylla

Pink Trumpet tree or Pink Tecoma

The lavender flowers of this Tabebuia tree from the Bignoniaceae family look so fragile that it seems that the tiniest gust of wind could tear them. This is slightly true, because during blooming season after heavy rains or a storm, thousands of these tiny petals lay withered on the ground. The tree blooms all year and prefers dry periods.

Tabebuia aurea

Golden Trumpet Tree

This Tababuia, originally from tropical America (Bignoniaceae family), is a small tree that has recently been very popular in Tahitian public spaces. In September at the end of the dry season, its silver leaves (which are very sparse at this time of year) totally disappear under an avalanche of yellow flowers. In tropical America, this tree is called paratudo (for everything) due to its numerous medical uses.

Albizia lebbeck

Siris Tree, Flea Tree

From the Fabaceae family, the Siris tree originated from South Asia. This beautiful tree is widely cultivated throughout the tropics due to the quality of the wood and as an ornamental plant in public places. It produces copious amounts of fruit (flat pods) and tends to assimilate quickly to new environments, such as in Tahiti. Its blooms are quite spectacular at the end of year before heavy rainfall.

Tahitian Blossoms
Tahitian Blossoms
-
Our islands are in a state of permanent enchantment with floral masterpieces on display all year long. We invite you to discover the secrets of these blossoms.
-
-
welcome Tahiti
-