Description Hawaiian Name: ‘ōhi‘a lehuaFamily: MyrtaceaeEndemic to the Hawaiian IslandsM. polymorpha (the more common species) is found in a wide variety of habitats (early successional species on lava, shrublands, mesic to wet forest) between sea level at 0 to 2200 meters on most main islands.Medicinal Uses: The flower of the '‘ōhi‘a a-pane' is used as a medicine for childbirth. Wood for images (ki‘i), posts and rafters, fences for temples, firewood, canoes, construction of luakini heiau, flowers and young leaf buds for lei; bowls, placed on hula altars for Kuka‘ohi‘a Laka.. and musical instruments.Hawaiian Native Plant Propagation DatabaseMetrosideros polymorphaDescriptionMetrosideros polymorpha is an extremely variable plant. It ranges in habit from a prostrate shrub to a 100 foot tree. Young bark is smooth and light gray and becomes rough and scaly with age. In the landscape or garden, Metrosideros polymorpha is generally no larger than 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide often with a broad, columnar silhouette.The leaves are generally oval in shape ranging in size from 1/2 to 3 inches long and 1/2 to 2 1/4 inches wide. The mature leaves are generally leathery and smooth dark green, but some forms are woolly or hairy underneath and may appear grayish. The leaf buds (liko) can range in color from pale green to pink to red.Metrosideros polymorpha is a Hawaiian endemic plant. Forms of Metrosideros polymorpha are found in almost all Hawaiian ecosystems ranging from lowland dry shrub lands to rain forests, from high elevation bogs to dry lava flows. It grows from near sea level to 7,150 feet and is found on all the main islands except Ni'ihau and Kaho'olawe. (Wagner 1990)They often protect ancient Hawaiian fishponds and other important cultural sites. The red Ohi'a Lehua blossoms are quite beautiful woven into a hakulei.
Sharon Mau, Maui Hawaii Member Since July 2010 Artist StatementSharon Mau is a fine art photographer, journalist, visual communicator and conceptual artist residing upcountry on the beautiful tropical island of 'Ihi-kapu-lau-mäewa more commonly known as Maui Hawaii - Paradise on Earth - Island of Rainbows, specializing primarily in beautiful tropical flowers, conceptual art and seascapes
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"What keeps me alive is found between the images, between the words, between thought, the emptiness of feeling, and in the emptiness of the body... there arises the fullness and significance of life... " ~ Basarab Nicolescu
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