Evergreen Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum)

Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Evergreen Huckleberry
Vaccinium ovatum
Ericaceae

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    The leaves are antiseptic, astringent, carminative and hypoglycaemic[172].

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

    A decoction of the leaves has been used in the treatment of diabetes[257].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw, cooked or dried for later use[3, 101, 105, 118, 183, 257]. Somewhat sweet but slightly dry[183, 256]. The fruit is quite palatable but is nothing special[K]. A strong flavour, they are usually cooked in pies, preserves etc[177, 183]. The fruit will often hang on the bush until early winter[256]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter[200].

    A tea is made from the leaves and dried fruit[101].

  • 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]. Most species require shelter from strong winds[200], but judging by the native range of this species it might succeed in maritime exposure[K]. Hardy to about -15¡c[184]. Plants are sometimes cut back by late frosts[11] A very ornamental plant[60], it is sometimes cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties[183]. One report says that it does not fruit freely in Britain[11], but a shrub growing in the shade of oak trees at the RHS gardens in Wisley was seen to be heavy with fruit in the autumns of 1987 and 1988[K]. A shade loving plant, growing well in a woodland[182]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Dislikes root disturbance, plants are best grown in pots until being planted out in their permanent positions[200].
Western N. America – British Columbia to California.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*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.