Carnation

The carnation is one of the best-known flowers used in leis. Its beautiful shape and variety of colors make it perfect for leis. The scientific name of this flower is Dianthus caryophyllus and the Hawaiian name is ponimōʻī. The dense arrangement of petals and the subtle, sweet fragrance of the carnation makes it a favorite lei flower. It comes in pink, light red, dark red, magenta, white and yellow. They are sometimes tinted blue or green. When a carnation lei is refrigerated, it can last about two days after delivery.

Red carnations symbolize power, strength and boldness and are given to men. White carnation leis are given to women to symbolize purity and femininity. This flower was originally brought to the Hawaiian islands by missionaries in the mid-1800s and has since been cultivated for use in the carnation flower lei. These leis are generally made with the kui (piercing) method, and they are often paired with the tuberose. They are worn for anniversaries, luaus and graduations, and they can be given to both men and women depending on the color of the flowers. See the carnation leis for sale below to see the lovely colors and shapes that make these leis so popular.

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