Ohia Tree – Tropical Garden X

This Garden is Now Resting Under Lava 🌋

We have preserved this page in memory of our pre-volcano community
It is also still useful as a tropical plant and garden information resource.

We now welcome visitors as an online community
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Featured Plant in Garden X - Ohia Tree

Ohia trees
Ohia trees

1) Plant History & General Information:

a) Scientific & Other Names: Metrosideros polymorpha; 'Ōhi'a Lehua 

b) Region of Origin: Hawaii, USA

c) General History: In Hawaiian mythology, Ohia and Lehua were two lovers separated by the goddess Pele. Pele desired Ohia and when she could not have him she turned him into a tree. Lehua was devastated by this transformation and out of pity the gods turned her into a flower and placed her upon the ohia tree. Separating these united lovers is not encouraged, and it is said that when a lehua flower is plucked from an ohia tree, the sky fills with rain representing the lovers' tears.

The Red Lehua flower is the official flower of the Big Island.

2) Plant Uses:

a) As Food: Lehua honey can also be made, but it is generally expensive due to the rarity of lehua.

b) As Medicine: The young leaf buds had traditional medicinal uses.

c) Other Uses: In native Hawaiian society, the hard, dark reddish wood of the Ohia was used in house and canoe construction, and for poi boards, weapons, tool handles, kapa beaters, ki?i (statues and idols), and as high-quality firewood. The leaves served religious purposes in the construction of heiau. The flowers (lehua) and leaf buds (liko lehua) were used in making lei.

3) Growing Instructions

a) Growing: Many 'Ōhi'a drop aerial roots from their branches. These roots do not reach the ground but stay suspended, collecting moisture from the air. The trees tend to prefer wetter areas but grow just about anywhere, including dry regions, from sea level up to 7,000 ft. In fact, 'Ōhi'a Lehua is so versatile and hardy that it will populate a new lava field within 100 years.

b) Best time to Harvest: / 

(Picking the Lehua flowers can cause it to rain.)

c) Sunlight Requirements: Full Shade, Partial Shade, Full Sunlight: Full/Partial Sunlight.

d) Soil Requirements: /

e) Propagation: Cutting, Division, Grafting, Seed, Separating

f) Controlling Spread: /

g) Difficulties with this plant: /

h) History of this Plant at Hedonisia: /

i) Location on Property: Garden S and Garden X


Garden X Pre-Volcano Instructions


Crater Trail Volunteer Team
Crater Trail Volunteer Team

Lodgings and/or Facilities in areas of Garden

This DECORATIVE Garden has the following plants

  • Ohia
  • Guava

Maintenance Activities For This Garden:

  • Main Weeds: Stink Maile, Fire Ants, climbers
    • Spray Soapy Water mix before working in this area
    • Hand weed bushes on the walkway carefully, and be aware of your steps
  • Identification and Labeling:
    • Plant guava along the trail for natural handrails
    • Tag and label  transplanted trees with bright-colored tree ribbon
    • Label the tree with the date it was transplanted
    • Update plant pages if any are added or removed from the garden.
  • Borders & Maintenance:
    • Identify & Clear the existing flat area on the slope behind the Meditation Temple
    • Clear out mud from pig trails for use.
    • Keep trails clear of guava fruit and slippery leaves
  • Harvesting:
    • Harvest Guava fruit in season to keep the trail clear of fruit


Post-Volcano Online Community

Links to the projects we work on as we prepare to return to our land.

Virtual VolunteerLava to Lotus Web Portfolio - Hedonisia Membership