There once was an ancient Hawaiian story about curious half-blossoms. The story talks of two lovers who have been separated by the wrath of Pele. As we know, Pele is the goddess of Volcanoes, and she has a beautiful loving sister named Princess Naupaka. Pele was always jealous of the way people loved Naupaka. One day, Naupaka was walking on the beach when she stumbled upon a young man standing in the water. They both had their eyes on each other and Naupaka knew it was love at first sight.
Naupaka asked Pele for permission to marry this man, but Pele decided that she wanted him for herself. When he rejected her because of his love for Naupaka, Pele went into a rage and chased the couple up into the mountains. Naupaka took the blossom from her hair and halved it to give one piece of herself to him. Pele and Naupaka’s other sisters felt pity on them. So they turned the young man into Mountain Naupaka and the Princess into Beach Naupaka.
Today, there are two known varieties of the Naupaka. One grows in the mountains and it’s called Naupaka Kauihiwa, the other grows near the sea and it’s called Naupaka Kahakai. When you look at both flowers, each appears to be half of a blossom but when placed together, they form a perfect flower. It is said that the two young lovers may be reunited when the flowers have been picked.
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