Identifying Huckleberries Archive

Huckleberries or Blueberries?

Posted October 21, 2014 By sandy

Most of us in the Rocky Mountain region who pick huckleberries are most familiar with the vaccinium membranaceum or commonly called, mountain huckleberries!  But how do you know if you are picking or eating  huckleberries or blueberries?

Author of the blog, Patches Thru shares her conversation with some Native Americans who helped her identify huckleberries:

“There are a dozen different varieties of huckleberry out here,” the brothers had explained, “but the best huckleberries are the ones with the dark, almost black fruit. We only pick the ones that are big, single berries on the top of the leaf clusters like these,” said one of the brothers as he pointed to, and then picked, a big, plump huckleberry. “If the berries are underneath the leaf clusters, or if there is more than one berry in the same cluster, it’s probably a blueberry and not a huckleberry. Even though the huckleberries can be lots of different colors and sizes, you can always tell if it’s a true huckleberry because the pulp inside the huckleberries is this deep red or purple color,” he continued, popping the berry between his fingers to demonstrate. “The blueberries have much lighter colored guts.” His brother then added, “the best huckleberries, the ones that we pick, are the ones with pointy leaves like these,” he said, stroking one of the leaves almost lovingly. By the end of their tutorial I was 100% confident that I could identify the best huckleberries (vaccinium membranaceum), the ones their family had been picking for generations, and the huckleberries they sold commercially.

vaccinium membranaceum

After doing a great deal of research, the author posted a Part 2 of her article (I’m Your Huckleberry) where she formulated a simple definition of the huckleberries vs. blueberries:

Based on my new understanding of the differences between blueberries and huckleberries I revised the Merriam-Webster definitions to include the berries from both the east coast (AT) and the west coast (PCT):

If you are interested in Patches Thru articles and listed resources on huckleberries, I suggest reading her two articles:

I’m Your Huckleberry, Part One

I’m Your Huckleberry, Part Two

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All About Huckleberries

Posted September 26, 2013 By sandy

Huckleberry season is definitely winning down — it appears to have been a good year for huckleberries and those picking them in the wilds!

But it is always time to learn more about huckleberries.

I found this excellent article the other day and wanted to share it with you:

Huckleberries

Wine Forest huckleberries

Vaccininum membranceum/ Globare (complex)’ V. ovatum; Gaylussacia species

The delightful word huckleberry, means one kind of berry in Massachusetts, another kind in Missouri, another in Montana, and yet another at America’s edge along the Mendocino coast. This same charming name is used for at least six species of purple berries. Like the orthodox devotion to one’s regional BBQ, every region knows that their type of huckleberry is superior. I personally adore our Pacific coastal evergreen huckleberries, V. ovatum, while my friends in Montana think I’m crazy to like those tiny tart berry ball compared to their big fat sweet berries.

The article talks further about the huckleberries in three distinct regions:

  • “Mountain” Huckleberry
  • Coastal Evergreen Huckleberry
  • Eastern Huckleberry

Also, there is a section on the following:

  1. Cleaning
  2. Harvesting
  3. Seasonality
  4. Preservation
  5. Cooking
  6. Storage

Check out the complete article

 

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Huckleberries in Oregon

Posted September 11, 2013 By sandy

As the seasons whines down in Montana and Idaho, the huckleberry season is going strong in parts Washington and Oregon.

Wild Pacific Northwest: Huckleberries

Wild Pacific Northwest: Huckleberries

Oval-leaved Huckleberry, Vaccinium ovalifolium (photo by Ivan Phillipsen).

Of all the plant species that produce edible berries in the Northwest – and there are quite a few – huckleberries have to be the most celebrated.

The abundant, delicious berries can be found in the Coast Range, Cascade Range, and Olympic Mountains in mid-summer through early autumn (in any given area, the timing of fruit production depends on the species, elevation, and other environmental factors).

As the article continues, the author talks about the history of huckleberries and the Native Americans; how to identify huckleberries; and huckleberry picking tips.

Very interesting and informative!  Also, there is a link to the health benefits of huckleberries.

READ FULL ARTICLE

NOTE:  Unfortunately, this particular article uses blueberry and huckleberry interchangeable.  Both are different berries, but the characteristics are similar.  We always tell folks that huckleberries are blueberries on steriods!!

For more info on the difference between Huckleberries and Blueberries, check this link:  Huckleberries vs. Blueberries

For more information on the Health Benefits of Huckleberry, click here:  Health Benefits 

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Huckleberrry Species

Posted April 4, 2012 By sandy

Anticipating picking huckleberry yet?  If so, (or even if not!), you might want to check out this article on identifying the different types of huckleberries.

Natural Life of the Lost Coast: Huckleberries
Redwood Times

Most of us know the evergreen huckleberry that is commonly found in the North Coast. When we encounter them in the summertime, we eat a few of the dark purple berries, fresh off the bush, or make the berries into pies and jelly. Did you know there is also a red huckleberry? Both share the same genus name, Vaccinium.

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Identifying Huckleberries

Posted July 15, 2010 By sandy

How to Identify Huckleberries | Garden Guides

How to Identify Huckleberries. Although there are approximately 40 different huckleberry plant species, these shrubs have similar leaf shapes and fruit

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Identifying Huckleberries

Posted July 15, 2010 By sandy

How to Identify Huckleberries in Montana | eHow.com

How to Identify Huckleberries in Montana. Huckleberries grow wild in Montana’s mountainous regions. They thrive in the elevated Rocky Mountain areas and can

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Is this a huckleberry? – BugGuide.Net

An online resource devoted to North American insects, spiders and their kin, offering identification, images, and information.

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