Black Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Black Huckleberry
Vaccinium ovalifolium

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Antiseptic, astringent, carminative, hypoglycaemic[172].

    An infusion of the leaves and sugar have been given to a mother after childbirth[257].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked[105, 118, 161, 172, 257]. Mildly acidic[11, 200]. A pleasant sweet flavour[212]. The fruit is a reasonable source of vitamin C[257]. The fruit can also be dried for later use[183] when they have a flavour like raisins[256]. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter[200].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow late winter in a greenhouse in a lime-free potting mix and only just cover the seed[78]. Stored seed might require a period of up to 3 months cold stratification[113]. Another report says that it is best to sow the seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe[200]. Once they are about 5cm tall, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8cm with a heel, August in a frame[78]. Slow and difficult. Layering in late summer or early autumn[78]. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer[200]. Takes 18 months[78]. Division of suckers in spring or early autumn[113].
Requires a moist but freely-draining lime free soil, preferring one that is rich in peat or a light loamy soil with added leaf-mould[11, 200]. Prefers a very acid soil with a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6, plants soon become chlorotic when lime is present. Succeeds in full sun or light shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[200]. Requires shelter from strong winds[200]. Dislikes root disturbance, plants are best grown in pots until being planted out in their permanent positions[200]. The fruit is borne singly rather than in clusters[183]. This species is closely related to V. parvifolium[182]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200].
Northern N. America – Quebec to Michigan, Oregon and Alaska.

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*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.