Herb: Farkleberry


Latin name: Vaccinium arboreum


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Medicinal use of Farkleberry:

The berries, root-bark and leaves are very astringent and have been used internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery etc. The infusion is valuable in treating sore throats, chronic ophthalmia, leucorrhoea etc.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Tree

Height:
5 m
(16 feet)

Flovering:
July to
August

Habitat of the herb:

Moist sandy soils by ponds and streams. Usually found in most shady slightly alkaline soils along stream banks, bluffs, hammocks and in open woods.

Edible parts of Farkleberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Dry and slightly astringent but with a pleasant flavour. Dry and insipid according to another report whilst another says that it is dry, sweet and mealy and yet another says that it is bitter and inedible. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter.

Other uses of the herb:

Said to be an excellent rootstock for "Rabbiteye" blueberries (V. ashei). Tannin is obtained from the bark and root. Wood - heavy, hard, very close grained. It weighs 48lb per cubic foot. Used for making tool handles and other small articles.

Propagation of Farkleberry:

Seed - sow late winter in a greenhouse in a lime-free potting mix and only just cover the seed. Stored seed might require a period of up to 3 months cold stratification. Another report says that it is best to sow the seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. 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. Slow and difficult. Layering in late summer or early autumn. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer. Takes 18 months. Division of suckers in spring or early autumn.

Cultivation of the herb:

Moist sandy soils by ponds and streams. Usually found in most shady slightly alkaline soils along stream banks, bluffs, hammocks and in open woods.

Known hazards of Vaccinium arboreum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.