Herb: Black Huckleberry


Latin name: Vaccinium ovalifolium


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Medicinal use of Black Huckleberry:

Antiseptic, astringent, carminative, hypoglycaemic. An infusion of the leaves and sugar have been given to a mother after childbirth.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
June

Habitat of the herb:

Thickets, open woods and peaty slopes.

Edible parts of Black Huckleberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Mildly acidic. A pleasant sweet flavour. The fruit is a reasonable source of vitamin C. The fruit can also be dried for later use when they have a flavour like raisins. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter.

Propagation of the herb:

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 Black Huckleberry:

Thickets, open woods and peaty slopes.

Known hazards of Vaccinium ovalifolium:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.