A hillside flames to life with Pua Kalikimaka–the poinsettia plant–literally meaning, “Christmas flower” in the Hawaiian language. The slightly shortened days of winter in Hawaii give poinsettias throughout the islands the signal they need to turn from green to their trademark dark red color.
Indigenous to Mexico and Central American, the plant was introduced to the US 1825 by Joel Robert Poinsett and later brought to Hawaii. One can see the poinsettia in Hawaii from sea level to lower elevations where it thrives on hillsides as a ground-cover shrub.
This densely-covered hillside is located on the way to Kealakekua on the Big Island of Hawaii.