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The Ōhelo ai (Vaccinium reticulatum) is a species of flowering plant in the cranberry family, Ericaceae, that is endemic to Hawai imarker. It where it grows at altitudes of on lava flows and freshly disturbed volcanic ash on Mauimarker and Hawai imarker, and less commonly on Kaua imarker, O ahumarker, and Moloka imarker. Adaptations to volcanic activity include the ability to survive ash falls of over depth.

Growth

Ōhelo ai is a shrub usually tall, rarely up to . The leaves are evergreen, spirally arranged, leathery, oval, long, red when freshly emerging, then green or green with reddish patches. The flowers are bell-shaped, long, variable in color, red to yellow or pink.

Characteristics

The fruit is an edible berry diameter, ranging in color from blue to purple to red to orange to yellow. The color does not necessarily indicate the ripeness of the berries. The berries taste similar to cranberries, less ripe ones being tart, while ripe berries are quite sweet. The berries are an important food source for the nēnē (Branta sandvicensis); the seeds are dispersed in the birds' droppings.

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