There is a great deal of knowledge and information across the internet, in books and in scientific journal articles, so much so that it is impossible to distill all information about ʻŌhiʻa Lehua into a single page. Instead, this page intends to point readers to online resources I’ve stumbled across on my travels, together with a brief summary of the points I find interesting.

Click the links in the table below, or scroll down the page for uncategorised info.



There are five varieties of Ohia Lehua across the Hawaiian Islands. Can they cross-pollinate? Research performed by Elizabeth Stacy, Jennifer Johansen (UH Hilo) and their lab aims ‘to understand how speciation happens, how long it takes, and what genetic changes are involved’. It is summarised in the June/July 2011 edition of the LICH Landscape Hawaii Magazine. The key points are:

  • Ohia is a member of the Hawaiian Metrosideros group
  • Believed to have arrived 4 million years ago on the island of Kaua’i
  • Ohia has diversified into five named species
  • Testing of cross-fertility between var. incana (coloniser of new lava flows with hairy leave) and var. glaberrima (dominant on old substrates with naked leaves) showed that:
    • hybridisation to produce first-generation hybrids very successful
    • second-generation hybrids had reduced fertility
  • Also found that elevation is a major driver of differentiation within Metrosideros

The take-away message is that diversification of Ohia into different species (can I say ‘different’?) appears to be significantly influenced by Hawai’i’s diverse landscape.

To do

Worth looking up the two versions of Ceratocystis on the CABI database and reporting back. Continue with December 2011/January 2012