Tropical Flowers For Mom’s Day

Tropical Flowers Express has been growing flowers on its 2-acre farm in Kapahi since 1993.

“Our neighbor Howard Yamamoto encouraged us to plant tropical flowers,” says Johnny Gordines. “He planted that big monkeypod tree in Koloa Town. It’s the best move we ever made!”

He says the right flowers combined with different types of foliage make a nice statement any time of year, but especially for Mother’s Day.

Some of what they grow: Anthuriums, calathea (four varieties), costus (three varieties), ginger (10 varieties), heliconia (19 varieties), protea, parrot (similar to bird of paradise) and a variety of foliage.


Ginger is a broad class of tropicals that were brought to Hawaii by early Polynesians from Indo-Malaysia. Gingers were used medicinally and as an herb in cooking, as well as a natural dye, a sacred component to rituals and as ornamentals.

Red Ginger (Alpinia purpurata) grows year-round on Kaua’i, but is especially abundant from October through June. Also called ostrich plume and pink cone ginger, the 10-foot or taller plants have showy flowers on long, brightly colored red bracts. They look like the bloom, but the true flower is the small, white blossom on top.

Storage: Red Ginger will keep up to three weeks. Upon receiving flowers, unpack immediately and place in water. Changing water and recutting stems every one to two days extends the life of flowers. Avoid storage below 60 degrees, in direct sun, close to heat sources or in drafty areas.

Mother’s Day Specials: Poipu arrangement comes with a free bar of plume-ria-scented Island Soap when you place your order online and contains one red ginger, one heliconia, two anthuriums, two costus, two bird of paradise and tropical foliage.

Twelve Hearts From Kaua’i includes 12 medium-sized red anthuriums and tropical foliage.

Kaua’i Aloha includes six anthuriums, tropical foliage, chocolate covered macadamia nuts (5-ounce box), Kaua’i Coffee (7-ounce bag), macadamia nut shortbread Kaua’i Kookies (5-ounce box), lightly salted macadamia nuts (2.5-ounces) and honey roasted macadamia nuts (2.5-ounces).

All gift boxes cost $60, which include shipping, and can be shipped anywhere in the United States within two business days. Order before May 8 to ensure it’s shipped in time for Mother’s Day.

Flowers from TropicalFlowers Express can be found at: Farmers Markets: Kaua’i Culinary Market at The Shops at Kukui’ula (Wednesday, 4-6 p.m.); Kaua’i Community Market (Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.); Kapa’a Sunshine Market (Wednesday, 3-4 p.m.) For more information, call toll free 1-855-807-9020 or place orders online at

Marta Lane is a Kaua’i-based food writer. For more information, visit