The Q&A Archives: edible poli poli

Question: In Hawaii, natives used poli poli for their tatoos. My mom's family brought these same berries back to Kansas from Germany, which is one of my favorite meal bases. The co-op in HI said they could be poisoinous if planted next to zuccini or something. Do you know what their real name is? They're dark purple, round like a pea, and very sweet. The bush stands about 2' high. Let me know anything you can about these. My mom just calls them blueberries. Thanks, Wendy

Answer: Without seeing the plant, I can't positively identify it for you but the University of Hawaii lists Vaccinium reticulatum, a type of blueberry, as a native plant in the Poli Poli region. I wonder if this is your plant. Here's a web address with lots of photos which will help you determine whether or not this is the plant you are growing:

If this is your plant, the berries are edible. Planting near zucchini won't change the edibility of either the squash or the blueberries.

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