Many people have asked me what the name Lehua Ukulele came from. Here in Hawaii there is a common forest tree, the Ohia tree, that is important in Hawaiian culture. It bears beautiful flowers called Lehua blossoms. Occasionally these blossoms are yellow or orange, but the most common color is red. There is a legend associated with the Ohia tree and it's blossoms.
Red Lehua Flower
You can compare the size of the Ohia, center, to the 8-9' small grapefruit tree in the foreground.
Yellow Lehua Flower
Red is the most common color of Lehua flowers, but it also comes in shades of yellow and orange. We are lucky enough to have a yellow one near our house.
The Legend of Ohia and Lehua
One day Pele, the goddess of the volcano, met a handsome young man named Ohia. She desired to have him as her sweetheart. He confessed that he already was in love with another young girl, Lehua. This enraged Pele and she used her magical powers to transform the young man into the ugly Ohia tree. Lehua was terribly sad and pleaded with Pele to return the young man back to his human form. Pele refused so Lehua begged the gods to help her to be reunited with Ohia. Instead of changing Ohia back to a human, the gods transformed Lehua into a lovely red blossom to adorn the Ohia tree. Now when anyone picks a Lehua blossom, it will rain because the lovers have been separated.