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

Vaccinium ovalifolium Sm.
oval-leaved blueberry (oval-leaf blueberry)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #14259)

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Distribution of Vaccinium ovalifolium
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Species Information

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Erect, spreading shrub; stems 0.4-2 m tall, angled; glabrous; young twigs brownish to yellowish or reddish; old branches greyish.
Alternate, deciduous, oval to broadly egg-shaped, 1-5 cm long, 0.7-3 cm wide, blunt at both ends, entire or sometimes very slightly toothed, glabrous, more or less with a whitish bloom on the lower surfaces.
Solitary in leaf axils, appearing before the leaves have reached half their mature size; flower stalks 1-8 mm long, strongly curved downward in fruit, not enlarged immediately under the berry; corollas pinkish, tubular urn-shaped, about 4-7 mm long, usually longer than wide, widest just below midlength; calyces shallowly lobed, the lobes deciduous (rarely persistent) in fruit; filaments glabrous, shorter than the anthers; anthers awned, with terminal pores.
Berries, globe-shaped, 6-9 mm wide, purplish-black to bluish-black, mostly with distinct bluish bloom; pleasantly tart.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Mid Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Blue
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Mesic to wet forests and openings, and bogs in the lowland to subalpine zones; common throughout C and S BC; amphiberingian, N to AK and S YT, disjunct to ON, MI, PQ, NF, and NS, and S to OR and MT; E Asia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Vaccinium ovalifolium

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) 0 905 2750
Slope Gradient (%) 0 22 200
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 323 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 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: BAFA(1), BWBS(6), CDF(2), CMA(1), CWH(1746), ESSF(1616), ICH(1912), IDF(6), MH(469), MS(53), SBPS(2), SBS(519), SWB(3)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant, submontane to subalpine, Asian and transcontinental North American deciduous shrub mostly in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions, rare in the Central and Atlantic regions. Occurs on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-poor soils with boreal, cool temperate, and cool mesothermal climates; its occurrence increases with increasing latitude and decreases 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 not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References