- ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi: ʻŌhiʻa ha
- Scientific: Syzygium sandwicense
- NatureServe Heritage Rank G3 – Vulnerable
ʻŌhiʻa ha is endemic to Hawai’i and part of the Myrtaceae family. It can grow to a height of 18 m (59 ft) and a trunk diameter of 0.9 m (3 ft). However, on exposed ridges, it grows as a shrub (As this species grows best in dense rain forests, in areas that are more exposed the tree becomes stunted and more shrubby in appearance. ʻŌhiʻa ha trees are often loaded with edible, bright red berries in the summer months. The wood of this tree was traditionally used for canoe and house construction. Leaves were also used to brew tea used to lift spirits.
ʻŌhiʻa ha gis found on Kaua’i, O’ahu, Lānaʻi, and Moloka’i.
ʻŌhiʻa ha is found most often in mesic to wet forests and bogs on ridges and slopes between 230 to 1,220 m (754 to 4,002 ft) on most main islands (“ ‘Ōhi‘a Hā” n.d.).
- Trampling by feral ungulates
- Competition with alien invasive plants
References & Additional Resources
“ ‘Ōhi‘a Hā, Hā, Kauokahiki, Pā‘Ihi (Maui), Pā‘Ihi‘Ihi (Maui).” Bishop Museum – Ethnobotany Database, https://data.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/ethnobotany.php?b=d&ID=ohia_ha.