This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
" The wilderness of Koolan, Maui, contains a forest of Ohias (native wild apple trees) countless in number, stretching from the sea far up the mountain sides. The trees vary from forty to fifty feet in height, and in the harvest season, from July to September, are covered with fruit, some white, but mostly red. We passed through the forest when the trees were loader! with ripe and ripening apples. What a sight! For miles around us, up the mountain and toward the seashore, was one vast grove of Ohias, literally red with ripe fruit, their branches bending to the around with the bounteous harvest. Birds of •gorgeous colors of mingled red, blue, green, yellow and black, were feasting in countless numbers, and making the forest ring with happy choruses. The crop of these orchards which nature has planted so generously in this wild and solitary waste, would fill a fleet of one hundred steamers of the size of the Mikado, for the orchard stretches from five to ten miles wide by twenty miles long, and many of the larger trees bear at least fifty barrels [bushels?] apiece. The fruit furnishes the traveler excellent repast, appeasing both thirst and hunger.
So far as is now known no commercial use can be made of the Ohia, as when ripe it cannot be kept more than four days".
Who can tell us something of this apple? I have not been able to ascertain its botanical name, nor to learn whether it be a true apple. Have any of our Southern California horticulturists experimented with it ? It is possible that for the extreme Southern States here is something worth a trial.
[This article possesses a melancholy interest in being, perhaps, the last literary production of our friend, who died on the 30th of March, it having been received by us a little while before. There was nothing to indicate any fear of losing him beyond the line, " Haven't felt well enough to write a letter, or I should have written," in a brief note with the article.