Plants of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park
|Scientific Name||Vaccinium reticulatum Sm.|
|Other Names||'Ohelo, 'ohelo 'ai (transl. "edible `ohelo")|
|Distribution & Habitat||Common in disturbed sites, 640-3,700 m, on Maui and Hawai'i, rare on
Kaua'i, O'ahu, and Moloka'i.
This species is found on lava flows, ash dunes and cinder beds or on exposed sites such as alpine or subalpine shrublands. It is less common in mature or stable plant communities such as grasslands, wet forests or bogs (Wagner, et al. 1990: 595).
|Locations in this Guide||South-West Rift Zone, Devil's Throat, Mid-Elevation Woodland, Observatory, Sulphur Bank, Mauna Loa Strip Road, Top of the Strip Road|
|Flowers & Fruits||
|Phenology||Flowers and fruits throughout the year, with peak flowering season between April and September. Peak berry season is June through September (Wagner, et al. 1990: 595)|
|Natural History||This is often a member of the pioneer community on new
lava flows. You find it growing in these stressful habitats more often
than in established communities such as grasslands or wet forests (Wagner, et
al. 1990: 595).
Distribution of the seeds is attributed to the nene (Nesochen sandvicensis) (Wagner, et al. 1990: 595).
|Conservation||This species is used heavily on both Maui and Hawai`i to make jams and jellies (Wagner, et al. 1990: 505).|
|Other Notes||This is a highly variable species.
There have been some attempts to divide it into several distinct species
but such studies have been complicated by difficulties in crossing the
plants since they have a strong tendency to self-pollinate (Wagner, et al.
The berries are edible. They may be harvested in the Park for personal (non-commercial) use with a limit of one quart per person per month.
|Links to Other Sites|
Last Updated: 07/14/05