Garden Closed

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is temporarily closed to the public to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 coronavirus.

Whenever possible, the USBG will reschedule public programs and events originally scheduled during the closure period. Please monitor the USBG website for updates to operating status. Many resources can still be accessed online, including educational worksheets and manuals, fact sheets and more, and some of our programs will also be made available online. Find online resources at

Hawaiian hawthorn, ʻŪlei or Uʻulei

Plant Botanical Name: 
Osteomeles anthyllidifolia
Plant Threat Level: 

Known as the Hawaii Hawthorn or 'Ulei' in Hawaii, this evergreen member of the rose family is grown from sea level, where it is a low sprawling ground cover, up to 4,000 feet, where it is more of a tree that reaches heights of 14 feet. It is found in the Cook Islands, Tonga and most of the Hawaiian islands. Hawaiians used the long flexible stems to make nets, the flowers and fruits in leis and the wood for fishing spears and musical instruments. Medicinally, the leaves and bark were pounded with salt and used as a poultice. Believed to have been carried by birds, a close relative is found on coral rocks along the coast of Taiwan and Ryukyu Islands of Japan.