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Paddle Through Kahana River: A Botanical Adventure

Nestled within the lush Kahana Valley on the captivating island of Oahu, Hawaii, the Kahana River offers an enchanting kayak rental adventure through a paradise of natural wonders. As you glide along the gentle currents, you'll be immersed in the abundant flora that thrives in this unique ecosystem. Join us as we explore the native Hawaiian plants you can expect to encounter during your kayaking or Stand Up Paddle Board on Kahana River.

plants you will see when kayaking of paddle boarding Kahana River
Ohia Lehua

  • 'Ohi'a Lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha):

  • A symbol of strength and resilience, the 'ohi'a lehua is one of Hawaii's most iconic and revered native plants. With vibrant red or pink blossoms, these endemic trees create a striking contrast against the lush green landscape. Keep an eye out for these beautiful blooms as you navigate the tranquil waters of Kahana River.

plants of Kahana River
Hala Tree

  • Hala (Pandanus tectorius):

  • Known for its long, sword-shaped leaves and distinctive fruit clusters, the hala tree is deeply intertwined with Hawaiian culture. Its leaves were traditionally used to weave mats, baskets, and even sails for canoes. The sight of hala trees lining the riverbanks adds to the allure of this unforgettable kayaking journey.


  • Naupaka (Scaevola spp.):

  • The naupaka is a low-growing shrub with small, white flowers that bloom near the water's edge. According to Hawaiian legend, the naupaka flower represents a love story split by the Goddess Pele. One found by the sea and the other in the mountains. Observing these delicate blooms along the riverbank invites you to ponder the tale behind their origin.

Hau Tree Tunnel

  • Hau (Hibiscus tiliaceus):

  • With large, heart-shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers, the hau tree is a common sight along the shores of Kahana River. Traditionally, Hawaiians used the inner bark of the hau tree to create cordage and clothing. Today, its beauty and cultural significance continue to charm visitors on their kayaking escapades.

Kukui Nutts

Kukui Tree

  • Kukui (Aleurites moluccanus):

  • The kukui tree, also known as the candlenut tree, holds tremendous importance in Hawaiian history. It is the state tree of Hawaii and has versatile uses, including providing oil for lamps (hence the name "candlenut") and serving as a symbol of enlightenment. As you paddle through Kahana River, look for these distinctive trees with their heart-shaped leaves and clusters of round nuts.


Kalo (Colocasia esculenta): The kalo plant, more commonly known as taro, is deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture and history. It is not just a plant but a foundational element of Hawaiian life. Revered as the primary staple in Hawaiian cuisine, its starchy corm is the main ingredient in poi, a beloved traditional dish. In Hawaiian mythology, kalo is considered the elder sibling of humanity, symbolizing its intrinsic connection to the islanders. As you navigate the waters of Kahana River, watch for the broad, heart-shaped leaves of the kalo plants thriving near the water's edge, and feel the profound heritage they represent in every ripple and wave.

A kayaking adventure on Kahana River is an invitation to witness the captivating beauty of Hawaii's native plants. From the iconic 'ohi'a lehua with its vibrant blossoms to the hala trees interwoven with Hawaiian traditions, each plant adds its unique allure to the journey. The native plants lining the riverbanks serves as a testament to the resilience of Hawaii's natural ecosystem and the deep connection between the land and its people. So, embark on your kayaking voyage, immerse yourself in the charm of Kahana River, and let the enchanting native plants create an unforgettable experience on this tropical paradise of Oahu, Hawaii.

Explore the beauty of Oahu, Hawaii with Kahana Adventures Kayaking and SUP! Embark on unforgettable kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding experiences amidst stunning landscapes and crystal-clear waters. Discover the island's hidden gems and create lasting memories with our expert guides. Book your adventure today

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