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Gaylussacia baccata

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
gay-luh-SAY-shee-uh BAK-ah-tuh
Description

Black Huckleberry is a native shrub in the blueberry family found in acidic forests and woodland areas above 1600 m in elevation from Canada south to Georgia. It is found in the coastal, Piedmont and mountains of NC. In spring the red to pink urn-shaped flowers are visited by several pollinators. These are followed by a fleshy berry that matures to blue-black and is a wildlife favorite. Fall color is good in oranges and reds.

This shrub grows to 3 feet tall, 4-5 feet wide and often forms thickets. It prefers sandy or rocky soils in sun to partial shade and is drought tolerant once established. The shallow spreading root system helps prevent erosion on slopes and rocky hillsides.

Use this plant in a naturalized area, woodland setting, on slopes or dunes and to attract wildlife.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#drought tolerant#deciduous shrub#native shrub#NC native#acidic soil tolerant#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#drought tolerant#deciduous shrub#native shrub#NC native#acidic soil tolerant#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Gaylussacia
    Species:
    baccata
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern Canada and U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Berries are eaten by birds and mammals. Host plant to the butterfly Henry's Elfin. Bees pollinate the flowers.
    Edibility:
    Berries are edible raw or cooked.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 1 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Dense
    Multi-stemmed
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/3 inch blueish black fruit displays from July to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Urn
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Clusters of 1/3 inch urn-shaped red to pink flowers in the axils of leaves bloom from April to June.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are 1-2¼" long and ½-1" across, oblong-ovate, obovate, or narrowly oval and smooth along their margins. Color is yellowish-green and slightly shiny, the underside is dull yellowish-green with fine resinous yellow dots and hairs. Fall color is oranges and reds.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    Thin smooth gray bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Black
    Gold/Yellow
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Young stems are yellowish-green to reddish-brown, pubescent or hairless. Older stems are light gray to nearly black. Tend to be brittle.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Slope/Bank
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Rock Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil