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Evergreen Huckleberry

Vaccinium ovatum

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The Evergreen Huckleberry is a medium-sized evergreen shrub common through the Pacific Northwest. A hearty species, it grows well in both direct sun and shade although it prefers a wet soil. Mature specimens can reach 3 feet (.91 m) in height and may spread up to 10 feet (3 m) wide. The leaves are oval-shaped with a rubbery texture and a serrated edge. Their color can change according to the age, with new leaves usually displaying a dark red or copper color, darkening to a glossy green as they mature. Flowers are pink and urn-shaped and will morph into small red berries during the summer. Ripe berries are typically a dark purple color.

Like the Red Huckleberry, the fruit of this plant is edible and tastes similar to a blueberry. It is more widely cultivated than the Red Huckleberry, especially for use as a decorative species around homes and in urban areas.

Distribution

This huckleberry is very shade tolerant and is often a common understory shrub in coniferous forests along the west coast of North America. It can often be found growing in communities with Western Sword Fern, Coastal Woodfern and Red Huckleberry.

Conservation Status

Common. Because of the Evergreen Huckleberry’s adaptable and hearty nature, it is commonly used in habitat restoration and sustainable landscaping projects.