ʻŌhiʻa ʻai (Syzygium malaccense)

Hawaiian name: ‘Ōhi‘a ‘ai
Botanical name: Syzygium malaccense
Family: Myrtaceae (Myrtle Family)
Status: Polynesian-introduced
Where found: All main islands
Water/Light: Wet, sun/shade
Elevation range: 600 to 1,600 feet
Height: 24 to 80 feet

Notes: ‘Ōhi‘a ‘ai, or mountain apple, was one of the first fruits early Hawaiians tasted before others were introduced by later settlers. Fruit bearing takes about 7 years from planting, but the sweet, pear-like, fruit is well worth the wait. Medicinally, the bark was used in remedies for sore throats and deep cuts. For treatment of bronchitis, ‘ōhi‘a ‘ai leaves were crushed and ingested. A brown kapa dye can be made from the inner bark, and the fruit skin produces a red dye.
*Photo courtesy of Starr

From Work Done by Whit Germano to Catalog Native Hawaiian Plants

Photo: MNBG

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A Few Native Hawaiian Plants from the MNBG Collection