The ‘Ohi‘a lehua can be found throughout the Hawaiian Island but is most abundant on the Big Islands and is the island’s official flower. The scientific name for the plant is Metrosideros polymorpha guad, belonging to the Myrtle family
Ohia is often the first plant to grow on new lava fields and blooms from December to July. The flavor of the Lehua honey is very floral and uniquely sweet. The color of the honey ranges from white to a light amber, depending on the region of the island its collected.
Hawaiian legend speaks of a young man named ‘Ohi‘a and a beautiful young woman named Lehua who were in love. However, the fire goddess Pele wanted ‘Ohi’a for herself. When he refused, Pele was jealous rage and turned Ohi’a into an ugly tree.
Lehua pleaded for Pele to turn ‘Ohi’a back into a man, but nothing could end Pele’s fury. The other gods felt sorrow for Lehua and so they turned her into a beautiful flower and placed her on the ‘Ohi’a tree.
Legend says that if a Lehua blossom is picked from the tree, rain will fall, symbolic of Lehua’s tears since she cannot bear to be separated from her true love.
The Ohi’a Lehua blossom produces a smooth, white honey that is thick and creamy. It is most distinguished for its texture, which is creamy and yet slightly crystallized. The flavor is sweet, but not overpowering. The taste could be described as floral