Home Column ハワイのシンデレラフラワーCinderella Flower in Hawaii

Cinderella Flower in Hawaii

0 1735

Mami Yamazaki

ハワイで白蓮閣をご覧になった方はいるだろうか?白蓮閣(月下美人と呼ばれていることも多いが)とはサボテン科で、通常一年に一夜、満月に近い日にしか開花しないと言われている。蕾を付けるまでに5-7年かかり、そのためか、花言葉は「儚い美」、「繊細」、「一度だけでも会いたくて」、英語では「夜の女王」と呼ばれるほど。ハワイ語ではPanini O Kapunahou(プナホウの白蓮閣)と呼ばれる。プナホウとはオバマ大統領やミシェル・ウィーが卒業した名門校で有名な場所でもあるが、同時にこんな逸話がある。

マノア滝の近くに住んでいた夫婦。今までにない干ばつで、水を手に入れるのに毎日苦労していた。そんな時、妻、夫と続けて同じ夢を見る。メネフネ(ハワイの小人・妖精)が枕元に現れ、家の近くのハラの木(タコノキ)下に泉が湧くというもの。その夢を信じ、早速メネフネの言う通りにハラの木を引っ張ってみると泉が湧いたという話。その時歓喜に叫んだ言葉が”Ka Puna Hou!” ハワイ語で「新しい泉」という意味である。その後タロを植えてどんどん泉が豊かになっていったそう。そのことからプナホウの紋章にはハラの木、タロが「知の湧く泉」として起用されている。サイドには伝道師が植えたこの花の姿もある。




Have you ever seen a Night-Blooming Cereus? It’s a Mexican cactus that only blooms once a year during a full moon. (In fact, local people say it blooms twice a year though…) Its growth has taken between five to seven years to reach its flowering stage. Its floral descriptions in Japan are “The fragile beauty”, “Sensitive”, and “Once in a lifetime”. In English: “A Queen of The Night” and “Panini O Kapunahou” (Night-Blooming Cereus in Punahou) in Hawaiian. Punahou itself, is famous for the school which President Obama and Professional golfer, Michelle Wee graduated, however, at the same time, here’s an interesting Hawaiian anecdote I found.

There was a couple living near Manoa Falls. Their land suffered from drought and they walked a long rough trail to get water from the water falls every day. One day the wife and husband had the same dream. In their dream a Menehune showed up and told them that they would find a fresh water spring under a Hala tree next to their house. Following the Menehune’s instructions, they worked hard to remove the tree with their friends. The tree hardly moved, but with persistence they finally found the spring. “Ka Puna Hou!” they shouted in joy, it means “The new spring” in Hawaiian. They planted Taro which grew splendidly. Based on this, the emblem of Punahou School features the Hala and Taro as the spring of knowledge. You would find night-blooming flower on the side the missionary planted that place.

The night blooming cereus is rare, however, the 900 foot long lava wall of Punahou is covered with seemingly thousands of them. The blooming period is from June to October in Hawaii. The timing of their bloom differs from year to year, so some say it’s reasoned that the Menehune decided the timing. Even local broadcast TV shows announce the blooming day much like Japanese broadcast TV does for cherry blossom season in Japan. The outbursts of the bright white flower light up the night’s darkness. Seeing this remarkably spiritual flower is a great way to make beautiful memories. Why don’t you try to come and see them this year? They will bloom soon this year, or not so soon.