Scientific Name: Vaccinium calycinum
Synonym: Vaccinium dentatum var. minutifolium
Common Names: Ohelo Kau La'au, Tree Ohelo
Duration: Perennial, Deciduous
Growth Habit: Shrub
Hawaii Native Status: Native (endemic)
Flower Color: Green to tinged yellowish or reddish
Height: Up to 16 feet (5 m) tall, but often less
Description: The flowers are tubular, cylindrical to urn-shaped, triangular-lobed, and up to almost 1/2 inch (12 mm) long. The flowers are followed by round, bright red, up to 2/3 inch (15 mm) in diameter berries with numerous small seeds. The leaves are green, hairless, alternate, saw-toothed, 2 to 3 inches (5 to 8 cm) long, and egg-shaped to obovate (narrower near the base and wider near the tip). The shrubs are clumping and have multiple, erect branches.
Ohelo Kau La'au grows in wet native rainforests and in bogs.
Two other, very similar Vaccinium species are found here in Hawaii, but Ohelo 'Ai (Vaccinium reticulatum) is a smaller plant and has more flavorful berries and smaller leaves, while Ohelo (Vaccinium dentatum) is also a smaller plant and has more sharply toothed, elliptic leaves.
Edible – The fruits are sweet and edible, but they are rather insipid not nearly as flavorful as those of Ohelo 'Ai.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Ericaceae – Heath family
Genus: Vaccinium L. – blueberry
Species: Vaccinium calycinum Sm. – ohelo kau la'au
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