Ohelo sources

arthur_allen_pollock(z8 Md)January 15, 2005


does anybody know where I can find ohelo berry (Vaccinium reticulatum) sources

Thank you

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Deweydave(z11 HI)

Where do you live? In Hawaii, the three species can be found on most islands, usually at higher altitudes. If you are trying to grow them, they are very difficult from seed or cuttings. Air layers may be a possibility if you can frequently access the plants. At lower elevations it is a struggle to keep alive or just will not grow at all. I know because I have tried dozens of times with very little success.
Sorry to throw a wet rag of 'ohelo propagation, but unless you live at higher, cooler temperatures, you will find it a challenge. But don't let that stop you. You may just strike the right key to success. If so, pass it on! Aloha a hui hou

    Bookmark   January 18, 2005 at 9:08PM
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arthur_allen_pollock(z8 Md)

Im sorry I took so long to reply (my computer got messed up)
No I dont live in hawaii (but I wish I did) I live in maryland , I live in a cool zone (z7a) so i'm ok there. Since the ohelo is a Vaccinium and most Vacciniums have a maximum growing zone of 9 and the higher altitudes of hawaii are zone 9 (which is were the ohelo grows) is it possible that when taken down from the cooler zone 9 and taken to say a zone 10 or 11 that maybe its just too hot for the ohelo or does altitude have a factor? I would love to hear of your growing experiences with the ohelo
anyway Im looking for somewere that sells ohelo and will ship off the island.

thanks and aloha

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 12:56AM
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Deweydave(z11 HI)

I hope I could send seed. But no garantees. I'll check to how this would be possible and post any results in the future. Aloha a hui hou

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 10:01PM
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Deweydave(z11 HI)

In answer to your question about altitude verses temperature. In Hawaii generally the higher you go the cooler it gets.
Take for example the Big Island of Hawai'i. You can be on nice hot sandy beaches in Kona and in a very short time drive to the summit of Mauna Kea at nearly 14,000 ft. where it snows during the winters (like right now). I live at c.500 foot elevation on O'ahu. If I hike to summit areas just up the Ko'olau Mountains (2-3,000+ ft) I can find at two species of 'ohelo. Yet if I try to grow them at my home, though they may germinate, they do not survive long. Apparently, I suspect, they need cooler nights, at least, to thrive. Our nights here even in the coolest winters, such as now, rarely fall below 60 degrees!
There are three highly variable 'ohelo species are found on nearly all the main islands except Ni'ihau and Kaho'olawe. The endemic species are Vaccinium calycinum, V. dentatum, and V. reticulatum. I know that V. reticulatum grows at the highest and coolest elevations such as on Mauna Kea (13,796 ft.), Mauna Loa (13,679 ft.), and Hualalai (8,271 ft.) on the Big Island and on Haleakala (10,023 ft.) on Maui--the upper areas of these locations are known as sub-alpine and alpine. They do get frost and even snow (except Hualalai).
If any of the species, I would try to grow V. reticulatum in your area. I would think that if you could protect the 'ohelo from freezing solid in your winters, you may be able to grow them in Maryland. Unfortunately that is the one species that although it is found on this island is very rare. But it is common on Maui and the Big Island.
However, I can give you an e-mail address of a woman on Maui who is an excellent propagator. She may be able to help your needs. Aloha
E-mail me directly at deweydave2@hawaii.rr.com

    Bookmark   February 5, 2005 at 11:20PM
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Trying to grow Vaccinium reticulatum in Maryland is almost certainly an effort in vain. Even those from the highest alititudes would not be able to take the winters there, let alone the summers. Tropical mountain plants, even those that experience frost, are not able to survive even short periods of Arctic air.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 10:52PM
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Deweydave(z11 HI)

If you can provide some type of winter coverage your efforts may not be in vain. You can grow pretty much anything anywhere IF you can provide the right conditions. BELIVE ME...I have grown and flowered Cypripedium here in Hawaii under artificial conditions of course. YOU CAN DO IT if you want to.
But you will need to weigh the time, effort and even expense of doing so.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 3:55AM
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Yes, I would definitely greenhouse it there, rather than put it outside. You may have to have a house with a summer cooling system, however, as is done with cypripediums, even here in Seattle area.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2005 at 12:33PM
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Aloha kâkou,
I potted up 'ôhelo cuttings and seeds ~10 days ago. I've heard that propagation by cuttings is difficult, but seeds are easy. I will post a follow up when I know more. I made an effort with the kahakô, but looks like the font got messed up in translation

    Bookmark   March 12, 2005 at 2:22AM
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Deweydave(z11 HI)

Re: Kahako.
Yes I have found the same thing, so I only use 'okina.


    Bookmark   March 19, 2005 at 2:12AM
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arthur_allen_pollock(z8 Md)

sorry i haven't replyed in a while. I never planned to plant it outside I may try if I had ALOT of extras and if there was a actual possibility that it would survive, I have a large indoor greenhouse and I have successfully fruited citrus . since passion fruit, bananas, and citrus are happy the ohelo should be perfectly fine. Cabbage_King If you have a few extra ohelo that you would be willing to trade or put up for purchase it would be much apprieciated

    Bookmark   March 30, 2005 at 11:37PM
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maui4me(z6A TN)

Your biggest problem might not be the cold winter but rather the summer heat and humidity of Maryland. Regarding wintering it over: you might get by with mulching around it good and then covering the plants with blankets when really low temps or extended sub-freezing weather approaches.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 4:08PM
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laboo69(z7 MD)

I'm another kanaka in Maryland and wishing I was back in Mountain View. In addition to the suggestions about moderating the air temp, let me suggest you might want to try watering with ice water. I could get cymbidiums , miltonias, etc. grown in Volcano (~4000') to re-bloom in Honolulu at sea level that way. Ohelo might like it too.

Now what I'd really like to grow over here is poha!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2005 at 6:47PM
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hotzcatz(Hamakua, Hawaii)

Poha is the same as "chinese lanterns" aren't they? Or is it called a ground cherry? Poha does grow on the mainland, but I'm not sure what it's mainland name is.

A hui hou,

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 5:35AM
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I recently purchased some ohelo berry seeds from Fruit Lover's Nursery. 50 tiny, tiny seeds for $24! I ordered online. It took about a month to come in. I haven't tried germinating them yet. Difficult to get in touch with the company as they seem to use an answering service... Hope this helps

    Bookmark   February 8, 2011 at 9:14AM
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How do these berries taste? The only reference I can find was that they taste "blend."


    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 10:26PM
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