By The Old House Web


The huckleberry is found in three major variations, each with its own set of characteristics.

The genus A. S. melanocerasum, or "Garden huckleberry" is a member of the nightshade family and is grown from seed. HORTUS THIRD states that the ripe berries are edible and resemble the flavor of a bitter tomato. Huckleberry is cooked as a vegetable or used in preserves and pies. Often people prefer to mix other fruits (like apples) with the huckleberry because of the bitter taste.

The genus "Gaylussacia" bears fruit that has 10 cells, with 10 seeds, and is edible. G. baccata can frequently be found throughout Michigan

The genus "Vaccinium" is most commonly known as blueberry, but also known as a huckleberry, cranberry, bilberry, whortleberry, and blaeberry. Its fruits are much less seedy than "Gaylussacia." The most commonly considered native huckleberries include: V. angustifolium: Called lowbush blueberry, but also known as low sweet blueberry, late sweet blueberry, and sweet-hurts, and V. myrtilloides, known as sourtop blueberry, velvetleaf blueberry, and Canada blueberry.

It is recommended to find out the huckleberry type involved if a question arises. Do not rate garden huckleberry as a reasonable substitute for the fruits of Vaccinium or Gaylussacia except in color and size, NOT in taste.

SOURCE: Hortopics, June 1983 J. Lee Taylor, Department of Horticulture Michigan State University

Go To Top of File               Main Page for this Data Base

Search Improvement Project