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Vaccinium ovatum

About Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) is a native shrub in the Ericaceae (Heath) family that grows along the coast primarily in northern and central California, and northward into Canada. It is slow growing and long-lived. It grows in an upright form to a height of 8 feet, with active growth during the spring and summer. The urn-shaped flowers (typical of Ericaceae) are white and bloom all through spring. Fruits are blue or black and edible but best left for the wildlife. Leaves are medium green, and remain on the plant throughout the year. New growth in spring is red. It tends to grow in wet meadows and slopes, at elevations from sea level to 2,600 feet.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
1.6 - 8 ft (0.49 - 2.4 m)

Max. Width
15 ft (4.6 m)

Upright, Spreading

Growth Rate


Flower Color
White, Blue, Black

Flowering Season
Spring, Winter

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Edges or clearings in forest and woodland

Part Shade, Sun

Elevation ?
-261' - 4617'

Annual Precip. ?
11.7" - 117.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.15" - 3.43"

Coldest Month ?
37.3° F - 54.0° F

Hottest Month ?
56.4° F - 77.0° F

Humidity ?
0.01 vpd - 24.20 vpd

Soil Description
Tolerates sand and clay, usually low in organic content

Soil PH
4.8 - 6.8

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to 10° F

Sunset Zones ?
4*, 5*, 6, 7, 14, 15*, 16*, 17, 22, 23, 24

Wildlife Attracted
Hummingbirds are attracted to the flowers and many other birds are attracted to the fruits

Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Moderately Popular

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Pest Control
Vaccinium ovatum may harbor Phytophthora ramorum which causes Sudden Oak Death. Use caution in planting this species with oaks or near oak woodlands.

Propagation ?
For propagating by seed: No treatment; 1-2 mos. Stratification may improve germination. Sow on milled sphagnum moss or peat moss and sand mix. Also may be propagated by cuttings or layering.

Common uses
Hedges, Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Nursery Availability
Commonly Available

Other Names
Common Names
California Huckleberry, Evergreen Huckleberry

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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