Herb: Deerberry

Latin name: Vaccinium stamineum

Synonyms: Vaccinium candicans

Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Edible parts of Deerberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Unpalatable. The quality varies from shrub to shrub. When cooked and served cold they are considered to be delicious with a flavour suggesting gooseberry and cranberry sauce with the slightly bitter aftertaste of grapefruit marmalade. The fruit is about 10mm in diameter.

Description of the plant:


3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Dry woods thickets and clearings.

Propagation of Deerberry:

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:

Dry woods thickets and clearings.

Medicinal use of Deerberry:

None known

Known hazards of Vaccinium stamineum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.