Let's just say that Pele has a "fiery" temper, as one might expect from the goddess of volcanoes, fire wind and lightning. So when the handsome 'Ohi'a thwarted her advances because of his love for Lehua, she had to turn him into a tree. Taking pity on the lovely Lehua, the gods changed her into the beautiful blossom of the tree, and reunited the lovers. Legend has it that when you pluck the lehua blossom and separate the lovers, it will rain, signifying their tears.
The 'ohi'a lehua (Metrosideros polymorpha) is endemic to the main Hawaiian islands, and is the most abundant tree of the islands. This is due in part to the many forms (polymorpha) that it can take. Dominant in the cloud and rainforests above 400 m, it can also be found at sea level, and in dry forests. 'Ohi'a lehua can grow on a variety of substrates, such as new lava flows as well as fallen hapu'u and in bogs. It ranges from prostrate shrubs to beautiful 30 m giants. The flowers also show a wide range of colors: red, yellow, pink, orange. Their pompom shape come from splays of stamens extending from the flowers, which form in clusters at the end of branches. 'Apapane, i'iwi, and a'keke'e are some of the native birds that love the nectar and help pollinate the species, as do some insects. 'Ohi'a lehua is classified as a honey tree. The flowers and liko (new leaf tips) are a favorite in lei-making.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.