Herb: Evergreen Huckleberry


Latin name: Vaccinium ovatum


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Medicinal use of Evergreen Huckleberry:

The leaves are antiseptic, astringent, carminative and hypoglycaemic. An infusion of the leaves and sugar have been given to a mother after childbirth to help her regain her strength. A decoction of the leaves has been used in the treatment of diabetes.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Evergreen
Shrub

Height:
2.5 m
(8 1/4 foot)

Flovering:
April
to May

Habitat of the herb:

Dry slopes and sandy heathy places from near the sea to 800 metres.

Edible parts of Evergreen Huckleberry:

Fruit - raw, cooked or dried for later use. Somewhat sweet but slightly dry. The fruit is quite palatable but is nothing special. A strong flavour, they are usually cooked in pies, preserves etc. The fruit will often hang on the bush until early winter. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter. A tea is made from the leaves and dried fruit.

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 Evergreen Huckleberry:

Dry slopes and sandy heathy places from near the sea to 800 metres.

Known hazards of Vaccinium ovatum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.