Vaccinium ovatum Pursh
evergreen huckleberry (California huckleberry)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Riley     (Photo ID #23117)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Vaccinium ovatum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Upright, spreading shrub; stems 0.5-3 m tall, young stems minutely hairy.
Alternate, evergreen, leathery, in "horizontal" rows on stems, egg- to narrowly egg-shaped, 2-5 cm long, tips pointed, bright glossy green on the upper surfaces, paler beneath, margins thickened and sharply toothed.
In 3- to 10-flowered axillary clusters; corollas bright pinkish, narrowly bell-shaped, about 7.5 mm long, the lobes short, spreading, and triangular; calyx lobes red, triangular; filaments densely hairy; anthers with long, straight tubes above the pollen sacs, not awned.
Berries, globe-shaped, 4-7 mm wide, deep purplish-black with bloom, or blackish and shining; sweet and edible, but musky flavour.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

USDA Species Characteristics

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


Ecological Framework for Vaccinium ovatum

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)
185 2 1650
Slope Gradient (%)
18 0 100

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

233 10 350
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

CDF(3), CWH(102), ESSF(3), ICH(4), MH(2), SBS(1)

Habitat and Range

Dry to moist, open forests in the lowland and montane zones; frequent in SW BC, rare near Prince Rupert; S to S CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Vaccinium ovatum var. saporosum Jeps.