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Vaccinium ovatum

Vaccinium ovatum Pursh

Vaccinium ovatum Pursh var. saporosum Jeps.

Evergreen Huckleberry, California Huckleberry

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEricalesTea, persimmon, blueberry, Brazil nut, azalea, many others
FamilyEricaceaeHeath or heather family
GenusVacciniumAncient Latin name for billberry
SpeciesovatumOvate (roughly oval) in shape, here referring to the leaves

About plant names...

Evergreen huckleberry is native to the west coast of North America.

Identification: These plants are bushy shrubs up to 24-36" (60-91 cm) in full sun, and up to 15' (4.6 m) in the shade. Leaves are dark green and shiny, alternate, 1-2" (2.5-5 cm) long. They are ovate (oval, wider at the base) in shape, with pointed tips, tough and leathery, with small serrations along the edges. Flowers are about ½" (1.3 cm) long, pinkish white, bell-shaped, in clusters of 3 to 10. Berries are purplish black, ⅛-¼" (4-7 mm) in diameter.

This Vaccinium comparison chart also includes a couple of similar-appearing species that are not Vaccinium.

Edibility: As with other members of Vaccinium (such as blueberries), berries are edible, though these taste better after the first frost. They were highly prized by native American tribes along the Pacific coast, dried and formed into cakes. Today they are used anywhere blueberries might be—in bread, muffins, jams, etc.

Vaccinium ovatum (Evergreen Huckleberry, California Huckleberry)

By Gordon Leppig & Andrea J. Pickart.

Online References:

Vaccinium ovatum at Washington State University’s Gardening in Western Washington

Vaccinium ovatum at Evergreen State College

Vaccinium ovatum on Wikipedia

Vaccinium ovatum description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 4 Nov 2013.

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Vaccinium ovatum (Evergreen Huckleberry, California Huckleberry)

Could be any of several other huckleberries. · 8/26/2007 · Cape Meares State Park, OR
≈ 3 × 2' (1 × 0.7 m) ID is uncertain

Range: Zones 7-9:

About this map...