The Difference Between Huckleberries and Blueberries

Despite what you may have heard, huckleberries are very different from blueberries.  To me, huckleberries taste like blueberries on steriods!!

Other say a huckleberry taste like a cross between a blueberry and a red raspberry.

One way of another, huckleberries and blueberries are very different!

Here is a exerpt from an article that will help you understand more of why ….Huckleberries and Blueberries

Huckleberries and blueberries are not the same

First of all, the locations of the two berries are different. Wild blueberries grow in the northeastern portion of North America, including Maine and the Atlantic portion of Canada. Huckleberries are native to the northwestern United States and Canada. In fact, the huckleberry is the state fruit of Idaho.

 

Huckleberries
There are about 40 species of huckleberry in the United States The shrub grows from one to three feet high, and has resinous leaves which feel sticky when pinched.

 

Blueberries
There are 15 or 20 species of blueberries native in the United States. The flowers of the blueberry are white and bell-shaped. The two-foot high plants have leaves which are small, oval and alternately arranged

 

How to Distinguish Huckleberries from Blueberries
Huckleberries and blueberries are distinguishable by their seeds. Each huckleberry contains 10 hard seeds, while a blueberry has numerous soft seeds. The two plants also differ in stem texture. Huckleberry stems are smooth while the blueberry’s stem is “warty.” When you eat huckleberries and blueberries, you will agree that the taste is different.

 

Huckleberries and blueberries are good and good for you. Huckleberries are not commercially cultivated so blueberries are easier to find in grocery stores. You can go into the woods and pick huckleberries yourself.

With all the snow in the mountains this past winter and the rain in the spring, it is looking like we might have a good huckleberry season this summer!

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7 Comments

  1. Comment by Mike Rue:

    I dont know if this applies to wild blueberries or just commercially grown blueberries but a huge difference between commercial blueberries and huckleberries (wild) is the color of the flesh. Huckleberries are a solid purple whereas blueberries are a solid off while color. Huckleberry stains can be easily removed with 409 spray cleanser from fabric and Formica counter tops.

  2. Comment by NotMyRealName:

    There is a much bigger difference between “hybrid domestic” and “wild” fruit than between huckleberries and blueberries. Those large bland blue things you see in the stores are not anything like the wild blueberries found in the Northeast. Those are much smaller, darker purple, and have a really intense flavor. In both cases the flavor is actually in the skins, so of course the smaller berries taste better and are more intense. my guess is that huckleberries and blueberries are actually very similar, if you go back to heirloom plants, which is all you have with huckleberries.

  3. Comment by Joi de vivre:

    I hate to tell you, but we do have huckleberries in northern New England. In fact, they often grow in the exact same locations with wild blueberries. The blueberries are an intense *light* blue, the huckleberries are deep black, and IMO, much tastier. There are several blueberry fields near me; all of them have huckleberries growing as well, particularly along the edges of the field. The bushes grow higher, the leaves are a bit larger, but some people just think they’re “black blueberries”. The biggest difference I see is that as the berries go past, the huckleberries become mealy, while the blueberries get soft and wrinkley.

  4. Comment by sandy:

    Please don’t hate to tell us when we are wrong or include miss leading information!!

  5. Comment by artistswriter:

    I grew up in New England in the 1950’s/1960’s. A true, native New Englander for 3 generations back!! The low bush blueberries of the Maine blueberry coast are true blueberries with the intense flavor that most people associate with blueberries (if they have ever tasted them!) No one I knew ever mentioned huckleberries. I never heard of huckleberries until I married my Arkansas husband who said he picked them with his grandmother, wild, on the thinly wooded hills where they lived. The large commercial berries you find in supermarkets are nothing like the “real thing”. The Maine blueberry also grew wild in our part of Massachusetts (north of Boston about 5 to 10 miles inland and up towards New Hampshire), also, and I have gone blueberry picking with my mother as a child many times. You must almost sit on the ground or bend over and it is backbreaking work. Not so bad for kids! “Our” blueberry patches looked much like this: https://visitmaine.com/things-to-do/agricultural-attractions/wild-for-blueberries. We also had high bush berries but they were not the fat ones either. They were small and sweet like the low bush. I can remember going to pick those with my mother and several aunts. We were instructed to fill our tin pails and not to eat them all! The closest I have found in markets today are bags marked WILD blueberries available in the freezer section of grocery stores. The only place you would find fresh wild blueberries is in places where they grow, since they are much more fragile than the large firm, unjuicy, tasteless (in my opinion) commercial ones. Hope this helps!!

  6. Comment by sandy:

    Thanks for your input on wild blueberries.

    But I was a bit confused by the pictures you linked to. Are blueberry bushes in Maine really red/brown as shown in the picture or did they change the image on the site to something different?

  7. Comment by Joy:

    There are blueberry fields all over Maine where I live, and the picture makes the leaves look very light. The leaves are much darker, and the woody parts are a deep gray to red-brown.

    We always called the darker berries huckleberries, even when I was raking blueberries back in the 50’s.

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