E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Vaccinium myrtilloides Michx.
velvet-leaved blueberry (velvetleaf huckleberry)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #81385)

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Distribution of Vaccinium myrtilloides
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Species Information

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Low shrub, growing in dense colonies; stems up to 40 cm tall, rounded, hairy with very dense, velvety hairs, especially when young.
Alternate, deciduous, thin, elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, to 4 cm long, entire, green, softly hairy, tips pointed.
Solitary, or few in terminal clusters, appearing when the leaves are half their mature size; flower stalks shorter than corolla; corollas greenish-white or tinged with pink, cylindric bell-shaped, up to 5 mm long; filaments hairy; anthers awnless.
Berries, up to 10 mm wide, blue, with heavy pale blue bloom; edible and sweet.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry to mesic forests and clearings on sandy and rocky soils and hummocks in bogs in the montane zone; frequent in C and SE BC, infrequent in NE BC, rare in SW BC (lower mainland bogs); N to NT, E to NF, and S to MT, IA, and VA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Vaccinium myrtilloides

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 6 909 2300
Slope Gradient (%) 0 10 80
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 239 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(125), ESSF(51), ICH(115), IDF(11), MS(34), SBPS(57), SBS(437), SWB(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine, transcontinental North AmeriĀ­can deciduous shrub (rare in the Pacific region, sporadic in the eastern limits of the coastĀ­interior ecotone). Occurs in continental boreal and cool temperate climates on nitrogen-poor soils; its occurrence increases with increasing continentality.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is montane boreal & cool temperate.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Cyanococcus canadensis (Kalm ex A. Rich.) Rydb.
Vaccinium angustifolium var. myrtilloides (Michx.) House
Vaccinium canadense Kalm ex A. Rich.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References