Tropical Blooms


A rose is a rose is a rose, but a tuberose, to clarify all misconceptions, is not. The tuberose (Polianthes tuberosa) is a native flowering plant to Central America and is named for the shape of its rootstock. A member of the agave family, the tuberose flower is recognized by the heady effect it has on the olfactory senses. While most flowers tend to lose their scent after being picked, the tuberose has a strong, exotic and sweet fragrance that continues to produce itself. The slender stems contain clusters of waxy, white funnel-shaped blossoms and grow extremely well in warm climates—especially in Hawai‘i. A night-blooming plant, the tuberose has earned many romantic names around the world, including the Chinese YueXiaXiang, translated as “fragrance under the moon,” or in Bengali, Rajoni-Gandha, which means “scent of the night.” Here in the islands, the tuberose is used in tropical arrangements and are favored by many lei makers. Many beauty products, including perfumes, oils and lotions, are made from the flower’s rich floral scent. Of all the captivating fragrances that may linger in your memories, the tuberose may very well be one that will capture Hawai‘i. 

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