ʻIlima is related to the hibiscus family. There are two forms; ‘Ilima kū and ‘Ilima papa. ‘Ilima kū grows to around five feet, but can reach upwards of ten feet. On the other hand, ‘Ilima papa only grows a mere twelve inches tall. It is an important ground cover species that prevents erosion, especially in dry coastal areas.
Both varieties have a beautiful yellow/orange flower with extremely delicate petals. These flowers were used in lei making and required hundreds of these tiny flowers to create a single lei, making them a precious lei to receive.
In 1923, the ‘Ilima flower was designated as the flower of Oʻahu (each island has a flower and a color).
Common name: none
Scientific name: Sida fallax
Where to Find: Sea level – 6500 ft. Rocky & sandy coasts, raised limestone reefs, lava fields, and dry to moist forests