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Photo Credit: Heidi Bornhorst

QUICK FACTS

  • HPRWA SCORE
  • SYNONYMS
  • ELEVATION RANGE
  • FAMILY Ericaceae
  • PLANT TYPE Ground cover |Shrub
  • WATER REQUIRMENTS Requires ample water and good drainage
  • SOIL REQUIRMENTS Tolerates many soil types
  • SUN EXPOSURE Full sun to Partial sun
  • SALT TOLERANCE None
  • DRAINAGE REQUIRED Requires good drainage
  • PROPAGATION METHODS Seeds & Vegetative

Vaccinium calycinum, Vaccinium reticulatum, Vaccinium dentatum
(`ohelo, ohelo kau la`au)

The three species of `ohelo are endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and they grow best in higher, cooler areas; they are found on each of the main islands. Their fruit is prized and used for making jam/jelly or pie and can be eaten raw when ripe. It is related to the blueberry, cranberry, huckleberry and more. `Ohelo is considered a sacred plant by the early Hawaiians, and no one was to eat the berries before first offering them to the goddess Pele. Hawaiians also used the plant medicinally, mixed with other plants, and used to treat abdominal pain. Ohelo can range in size from a couple of feet up to 15', with a spread of 6'. The size of plants, leaves, and berries are highly variable; the fruit can be yellow, orange, red, blue, or pink. Flowers are produced year-round and are striking, bell shaped blooms that hang down. This is a great plant for a specimen or a gift.

Plant Uses

  • Specimen
  • Container plant
  • Ornamental
  • Medicinal
  • Cultural significance
  • Edible

Dangers

None