Ohelo Plant

Ohelo Plant
While visiting Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park during summer and fall, you may notice these bright red to yellow berries growing from the ʻōhelo plant. The ʻōhelo is an endemic species to Hawaiʻi, and is one of the first plants to sprout from new lava flows.⁣
Related to blueberries and cranberries, ʻōhelo are tart when eaten raw, and sweeter when cooked into jams, jellies and pies. However, the berries are also an important food source for the native and endangered nēnē goose, which is why it is asked that people do not gather berries in the park. ⁣
The ʻōleho is also considered a sacred plant to the volcanic deity, Pele. For native Hawaiian cultural practitioners, it is customary to offer ʻōhelo berries to Pele before consuming any oneself. ⁣


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