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Gaylussacia frondosa

Common Name(s):
Blue huckleberry, Dangleberry
Categories:
Edible Plants, Native Plants, Perennials, Shrubs
Comment:

Blue huckleberry is a native, blueberry-like shrub in the Ericaceae family. It has distinctive resin dots that only occur on the lower surface of the leaves, and a large, open, lax inflorescence that gives it another common name, dangleberry. This is a huckleberry of the Atlantic coastal plain. It proliferates rapidly from rhizomes when disturbed. It is deciduous to semi-evergreen found on forest edges, meadows, wetland margins, and fields.  Its growth rate is slow.  The bark is gray-brown and finely peeling.  

Regions:  Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest: 

  Blooms:  Early spring/spring            Nut/Fruit/Seed:  Late summer

Wildlife Value:   This plant is moderately resistant to damage from deer.  It is a host plant for Henry Elfin's butterfly.  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. 

 

Season:
Spring, summer, fall
Height:
6 ft.
Flower Color:
White to pink
Foliage:
The leaves of the Blue Huckleberry are alternate, simple and smooth. They have a fuzzy margin and yellow resin dots on the underside. Its twigs are brown, green or red. There are three or more scales on the winter buds, and they overlap like shingles, with one edge covered and the other edge exposed.
Flower:
In the spring, small white to pink bell or cup shaped flowers mature on the Blue huckleberry. They are followed by a blue to black edible berry.
Habit:
Deciduous to semi-evergreen
Site:
The Blue huckleberry grows best in moist soil in full sun to part shade.
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Semi-erect
Propagation:
Rhizomes
Exposure:
Full sun, part shade
Fruit:
Berry, black
Soil:
Moist
Regions:
Piedmont, Coastal Plain
Origin:
Eastern United States from NH to SC
Edibility:
Fruits are highly edible and enjoyed by humans and wildlife alike.
Tags:
riparian, host plant, wet soil, deciduous, wet sites, drought tolerant, wildlife, semi-evergreen, wetland, butterflies

NCCES plant id: 3192

Gaylussacia frondosa Gaylussacia frondosa
David J. Stang, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Gaylussacia frondosa Gaylussacia frondosa
David J. Stang, CC-BY-SA-3.0
Gaylussacia frondosa var. tomentosa Gaylussacia frondosa var. tomentosa in fruit.
Adam Arendell, CC BY-NC-2.0