cover image of ohelo


  • ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi: ‘Ōhelo
  • Scientific: Vaccinium calycinum

Conservation Status

  • NatureServe Heritage Rank G3 – Vulnerable

Species Information

‘Ōhelo is a deciduous plant endemic to Hawa’i and part of the Ericaceae family. It typically grows 1 to 5 m tall. The plant is found without leaves for 1 to three weeks from October to February (Wagner, 1990). Vaccinium calycinum can bloom 9 months after germination. Traditionally used to treat stomach pains (“‘Ōhelo,” n.d.).


‘Ōhelo is found on all Hawaiian islands except Ni’ihau and Kaho’olawe.


‘Ōhelo grows at elevations of 500 to 1,800 m (1,640 to 5,905 ft). Generally grows in wet forests and bogs.


  • Trampling by feral ungulates
  • Competition with alien invasive plants

References & Additional Resources

“‘Ōhelo, ‘Ōhelo Kau Lā‘Au (V. Calycinum), ‘Ōhelo ‘Ai (V. Reticulatum).” Bishop Museum – Ethnobotany Database, https://data.bishopmuseum.org/ethnobotanydb/ethnobotany.php?b=d&ID=ohelo.

Wagner, W. 1990. Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii. Honolulu: Bishop Museum Press.