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Lehua (8 in x 8 in)


`Ohi`a Lehua
Oil on canvas, 2018
Includes gold wood frame (11.5 inches x 11.5 inches total size including frame)
Shown as a triptych

`Ōhi`a Lehua, or Metrosideros polymorpha is a dominant Hawaiian hardwood tree found from the coastlines to mountain top bogs. The flowers range in color from dark red to orange, pink, yellow and rarely white. A member of the bottle brush family, its latin name means many forms. Lehua mamo, or yellow flower has bright pollen-laden stamens which attract honey creepers to the nectar within. In ancient times, the upper elevation Hawaiian forests were sacred and `Ōhi`a Lehua was in particular a very special tree to the powerful gods of creation, Ku and Kane which resided there. Originally, no commoner would dare to desecrate a branch or even pick a flower without first obtaining permission from the appropriate gods, goddesses and village chiefs.