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Blue Huckleberry Gaylussacia frondosa

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
gay-luh-SAY-shee-uh frond-OH-suh
Description

Blue Huckleberry is a deciduous shrub in the heath family that is native to the eastern USA from NH to SC.  The habitat is along the Atlantic coastal plain in woodland edges, fields and meadows near bogs and swamps. This shrub may grow 2 to 4 feet tall and wide and spreads by rhizomes forming colonies that provide shelter and food for birds and mammals.

In spring the shrub produces small white to pink bell-shaped flowers followed by an edible blue-black or sometimes white fruit in summer. The fruit hangs in loose groups giving it the common name of dangleberry.

This plant prefers moist acidic soil low in nutrients and full to partial sun conditions. Use this shrub in naturalized areas, woodland gardens, or the margins of ponds and bogs. It will attract a variety of wildlife for you to enjoy.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No significant problems.

 

 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#semi-evergreen#wildlife plant#native shrub#riparian#wetlands#showy fruits#food source wildlife#fire low flammability#NC native#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-spring#bee friendly#Audubon#henry’s elfin butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#drought tolerant#semi-evergreen#wildlife plant#native shrub#riparian#wetlands#showy fruits#food source wildlife#fire low flammability#NC native#pollinator plant#larval host plant#food source summer#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#Coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#wet soils tolerant#bird friendly#nectar plant late spring#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#nectar plant mid-spring#bee friendly#Audubon#henry’s elfin butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Gaylussacia
    Species:
    frondosa
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern U.S.A
    Distribution:
    NH to SC
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    This plant provides nectar for pollinators. It is a host plant for Henry's Elfin butterfly (Callophrys henrici) larvae which appear from February to May and have one flight. Adult Henry's Elfin butterflies feed on flower nectar. Butterflies are attracted to its blooms.  Its thickets provide cover for wildlife, while birds including grouse, bobwhite, scarlet tanagers and wild turkeys eat the berries.
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
    Edibility:
    Fruits are highly edible and enjoyed by humans and wildlife alike.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    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:
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Oval berries with a single seed are green maturing to blue-black from June to August.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Cup
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    In the spring, small white to pink bell or cup-shaped flowers appear in loose racemes in the axils of older stems
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    The green leaves are 1-3 inches long and 1/2 to 1.5 inches wide. They have hairs with yellow resin dots on the underside.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Peeling
    Bark Description:
    The bark is gray-brown and smooth to finely peeling.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Scaly
    Stem Bud Scales:
    Enclosed in more than 2 scales
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    Its twigs are brown, green or red and a few some hairs may be present. The oval buds have three or more scales that overlap like shingles.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Fire
    Wet Soil