Operation Alpha – Susan Stoker – Stoker’s Aces
Another plant that you’ll ‘see’ in the book is Puakenikeni (Poo-ah-keh-nee-keh-nee)
Grown on a plant that can go from a bush to a tree after sufficient time, the blossoms bloom and look like a long trumpet, like a datura, but instead of a mouth/head with a pointed star, the Puakenikeni have five rounded petals that point back toward the stem.
The pearly white blooms are beautiful, but if you want the best scent… wait until they are a yellow/orange color. At that point, the blooms have a heady floral perfume… but there’s a catch at this point in the flower’s life. They will turn orange on the bush/tree or if they’ve been picked, like a banana getting its spots when it becomes ripe.
If you are lucky enough to receive a lei made of these blooms, treat it with tender care! The blossoms are somewhat fragile. Too much handling and it will bruise and turn brown…
And unlike a banana, the brown doesn’t help the blossom’s smell… and please do NOT eat it..
But if you are ever lucky enough to smell these flowers, treasure that moment… it will be a memory worth keeping.