Native Shrubs ... in wildlife landscaping
West Virginia Native Plant Society
West Virginia Nongame Wildlife Program
Black Huckleberry - Gaylussacia baccata
Box Huckleberry - G. brachycera
Dwarf Huckleberry - G. dumosa
Tall Huckleberry (Dangleberry) - G. frondosa
|Huckleberries - Branching shrubs with alternate, entire or toothed leaves and small flowers in lateral clusters (racemes). Flowers urn-shaped or bell-shaped and 5-lobed. Fruit is berry-like, fleshy, with 10 seeds.|
|Form:||Branching, low shrubs, forming colonies.
Black - Much branched, rigid, upright, to 3 feet tall (usually about 2 feet tall).
Box - Smooth, evergreen, to 15 inches tall, spreading limbs.
Dwarf - Low bushy, to 20 inches tall.
Tall - Shrub to 6 feet tall.
|Bark and Twigs:||Slender twigs are usually reddish,
pinkish or green. Do not have the numerous warty specks
on the younger twigs as do blueberries.
Black - Twigs hairy, reddish.
Box - Twigs with sharply angled sides.
Dwarf - Twigs usually hairy, reddish.
Tall - Twigs pinkish with a heavy white cast (bloom).
|Leaves:||Alternate, simple and short stalked
Black - Elliptic with sharp pointed tip, thin, smooth margins, 1 to 3 inches long, green or yellowish above, yellowish resin dots (glands) beneath and above (use hand lens to see), bright red attractive color in autumn.
Box - Evergreen, round-elliptic, thick leathery, less than 1 inch long, smooth margin or with small teeth, glossy dark green above, turns reddish-green in fall.
Dwarf - Long-elliptic with a bristle tip, smooth margins, leathery texture, 1 to 2 inches long, yellowish resin dots above and beneath, dark green and glossy above.
Tall - Round-elliptic, white downy beneath, 1 to 3 inches long, yellowish resin dots beneath, somewhat bluish green above.
|Flowers:||Small (1/4 inch long) bell- or
urn-shaped, in short lateral clusters.
Black - Reddish in color
Box, Dwarf and Tall - Whitish with pink tinge or pinkish.
|Fruit:||Fleshy, edible and contains 10 seeds.
Black - Shiny black (May-June).
Box - Light blue, sweet (May-June).
Dwarf - Shiny black, watery (May-June).
Tall - Blue with whitish cast (bloom) (June-Sept.).
Compiled by: Robert Deal, nurseryman and professor of biology/botany Glenville State College, Glenville, West Virginia
Written by West Virginia Native Plant Society members and jointly published with the WV Nongame Program
Illustration from Flora of West Virginia, Strausbaugh and Core