Gaylussacia baccata - Black Huckleberry
Like Mark Twain’s famous literary character, huckleberry is difficult to domesticate. The berries are delicious to humans, and wildlife rely on them as a food source as well!
Common Name: Black huckleberry
Scientific Name: Gaylussacia baccata
Plant Family: Ericaceae
Identification: Dark berries, alternate leaves that are shiny and green, bell-shaped flowers
Edible Parts: Berries: can flavor cornbread or biscuits, mix into desserts, eat fresh, or dry and grind to mix into flours
Medicinal Uses: Infusion of leaves and bark used against dysentery
Meaning of Scientific Name: Gaylussacia: named after Joseph Gay-Lussac, a chemist and physicist (Gay-Lussac’s Law!), baccata: with a berry-like fruit
Designing with this Plant
USDA Hardiness Zones: 3-7
Forest garden layer: Shrub, dry to moist soil, sun to semi-shade, acidic soil
- Cozzo, David. Ethnobotanical classification system and medical ethnobotany of the eastern band of the Cherokee Indians. n.p. n.d.
- Dave’s Garden “Huckleberry, Black Huckleberry” (2018).
- Elias, T.S. & Dykeman, P.A. Edible Wild Plants. New York: Sterling Publishing Co, 1982.
- Native American Ethnobotany Database (2018)
- Plants for a Future. “Gaylussacia baccata - (Wangenh.)K.Koch” (2018)