SelecTree: Tree Detail
Photo Locations: Oahu, HI
Ohia is a culturally important, endemic Hawaiian tree that dominates native forests, and is the most abundant native tree, especially on the Big Island and Kaua'i. It occupies a variety of habitats and grows from a tall emergent rainforest tree to a short, prostrate shrub. It has leathery leaves that are often felty white on the undersides, and rough trunk covered in flaky, fissured bark. Their bright red flowers are laced with nectar and are an important food source for native Hawaiian birds. A fungal disease called rapid hia death has been found on Hawai'i, Kaua'i, Maui, and Oahu (https://cms.ctahr.hawaii.edu/rod/). The disease is comprised of two pathogens, Ceratocystis lukuohia and Ceratocystis huliohia. Metrosideros polymorpha has no HPWRA (Hawai'i Pacific Weed Risk Assessment) score, and the Plant Pono link is: https://plantpono.org/pono-plants/metrosideros-polymorpha/
Native to Hawaii.
Additional Common Names
OHIA, LEHUA, OHIA LEHUA
Spreading Low or High Canopy.
Has Evergreen foliage.
Height: 50 - 100 feet.
Width: 25 - 50 feet.
Longevity 50 to 150 years.
Leaves Oval to Ovate, Bluish Green or Silver or Gray Green, No Change, Evergreen.
Flowers Showy. Red. Flowers in Summer. Has perfect flowers (male and female parts in each flower).
Few, Brown Capsule, Very Small (Under 0.25 inches), fruiting in Fall.
Bark Gray, Blocky, Rough or Scaly.
Shading Capacity Rated as Moderately Dense in Leaf.
Litter Issue is Flowers and Dry Fruit.
Tree Site Conditions & Constraints
Sunset Zones H1, H2.
USDA Hardiness Zones 10 - 11.
Exposure Full Sun.
Wet to Moist and Well Drained Soil.
Loam or Sand Texture.
Slightly Acidic to Neutral Soil pH.
Salinity Tolerance is Good Inland and on Coast.
Seaside Tolerance is Good.
Pests & Disease Information
Susceptible to Caterpillars.
Health, Safety & Environmental Concerns
Desirable Wildlife Plant.
Special Uses & Values
Seaside Tree, Flowering Tree, Specimen Tree.
Cite this tree:
SelecTree. "Metrosideros polymorpha Tree Record." 1995-2021. May 13, 2021.
< https://selectree.calpoly.edu/tree-detail/metrosideros-polymorpha >