Red Huckleberry

Vaccinium parvifolium

Red Huckleberry
Early leafing
Red Huckleberry
Few days later
Red Huckleberry
Still Later
Red Huckleberry
Fully open
Red Huckleberry
Early Stage of Flower
Red Huckleberry
Ripe Berry
Red Huckleberry
Berries not clustered

The red huckleberry is a common shrub in the coast range of the Pacific Northwest. It provides browse for browsers such as deer, and during the course of the summer grows a bright red berry which is good to eat. They are often ready in July, and they main annoyance is that they are small--about the size of a pea so picking them is tedious. The plant is a woody shrub usually less than 8 feet tall. It will tolerate moderate shade.

The berries are somewhat tart. They were picked in quantity by Indians and dried for winter food. They can also be cooked into a pie if enough sugar is added to offset the tartness, and indeed make an excellent pie.

The Red Huckleberry is fairly aggressive about leafing out in the spring. It does so in just a few weeks and the flowers are not far behind. This is different from some plants that flower first, but the flowers and buds are showing here at the first occasion I had to get a photo of the plant fully leafed. The flower is small--even smaller than the berry but not much. The one shown here is perhaps half the size of a pea, and the berries will be the size of a pea or slightly smaller.

The flowers hang down under the leaves and are not readily visible unless you look on the bottom of the branch. They are prolific in numbers however.

- - Updated 12/20/2012
- - Updated 04/20/2008
- - Updated 04/03/2008
- - created 03/27/2008