STYLE QUILTS® LEHUA COLLECTION
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Lehua (Madam Pele's Flower)
Lehua is the flower of the ‘ohi’a tree (Metrosideros collina), one of the most common plants found in Polynesia that grows from sea level to the mountains. The lehua is recognized by its bright scarlet (or sometimes yellow) clusters of flowers bearing numerous long stamens. According to Hawaiian legend, this delicate flower is sacred to Pele, goddess of fire and volcano, who resides on Mount Kilauea. Islanders say when one goes to the mountains to gather flowers, lehua should be picked only on the return journey, otherwise an offended Pele will envelope that person in rain and mist. A garland or lei made of lehua is said to be Pele’s favorite. The combination of red and yellow may be intended as a reference to the colors of the ancient Hawaiian feather capes and cloaks which were symbols of monarchy. The lehua can be used in every stage of bloom and growth in the making of a lei.
larger version of quilting