Ohia tree with lehua blossom.
The ohia tree is native to the Big Island of Hawaii. It grows directly from the cooled lava on the Big Island of Hawaii. Surrounded by ancient lava fields and ohia forests, I’ve come to deeply appreciate this noble tree, along with the bright, fluffy red lehua blossoms that adorn it.
The legend of the Ohia tree and the Lehua blossom:
The legend says that one day Pele met a handsome warrior named Ohia and she asked him to marry her. Ohia, however, had already pledged his love to Lehua. Pele was furious when Ohia turned down her marriage proposal, so she turned Ohia into a twisted, gnarly tree.
Lehua was heartbroken, of course. The gods took pity on Lehua and decided it was an injustice to have Ohia and Lehua separated. They thus turned Lehua into a flower on the Ohia tree so that the two lovers would be forever joined together.
Hawaiian folklore says that if you pluck this flower you are separating the lovers, and that day it will rain.