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

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #23117)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Vaccinium ovatum
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

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

Habitat / Range

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

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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) 2 185 1650
Slope Gradient (%) 0 18 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 233 350
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: CDF(3), CWH(102), ESSF(3), ICH(4), MH(2), SBS(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-intolerant, submontane to montane, Pacific North American evergreen shrub. Occurs in hypermaritime to maritime summer-wet cool mesothermal climates on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-poor soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and increases with increasing precipitation.

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 cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Vaccinium ovatum var. saporosum Jeps.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References