The Ohia tree (metrosides polymorpha) is a tree indigenous to Hawaii, and Lehua is the name of its flower. Lehua means "Flower sacred to the gods" in the local Hawaiian dialect. The Ohia is the most common native tree that still flourishes in Hawaii. The red variety of the Lehua flower is the official flower of the Big Island, and is also known as Pele's Flower.
In Hawaiin mythology, Ohia and Lehua were two lovers separated by the volcano goddess Pele. Pele desired Ohia and when she could not have him, she turned him into a tree Lehua was devestated by this and out of pity, the gods turned her into a flower, placed on Ohia's tree. It is said that when a lehua flower is plucked form the ohia tree, it rains to signify the tears of these eternal lovers. Depending on variety, the young shoots of the lehua blossom can have red, green or white tips. Interestingly, the Ohia tree drops additional ariel roots from its branches, which collect moisture from the air, keeping its blooms and leaves verdant and lush. The tree is vital to Hawaii's natural ecosystem, providing an important food source for native birds and bugs. Traditionally, the native Hawaiins used the Ohia trees bark and leaves for medicinal preparations to fill one with strong, paossionate inward fire to grow, bloom and rejoice in life. The Lehua is often the first form of life to sprout directly out of hardened black lava flows. Lehua are thus revered as sacred, and can help one envision their future and propel them into a new creation of their own design, as a volcano creates an island paradise anew from the ocean.