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Naupaka (Scaevola sericea) | by presbi
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Naupaka (Scaevola sericea)

The Naupaka (Latin name Scaevola) is a genus of flowering plants in the Goodenia family, Goodeniaceae. It consists of more than 130 tropical species, with the center of diversity being Australia and Polynesia.


Common names for Scaevola species include scaevolas, fan-flowers, half-flowers, and naupaka, the plant's Hawaiian name. The flowers are shaped as if they have been cut in half. Consequently, the generic name means "left-handed" in Latin.

Many legends have been told to explain the formation of the naupaka's unique half flowers. In one version a woman tears the flower in half after a quarrel with her lover. The Gods, angered, turn all naupaka flowers into half flowers and the two lovers remained separated while the man is destined to search in vain for another whole flower.


Notice how the petals are all on side side and the stamen curls up on the other side. Like someone plucked away half the petals.


Shoot taken in Ghanghei Island, Ari North Atoll, Maldives.


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© Sergio Presbitero 2010, All Rights Reserved

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Taken on February 17, 2009