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Blueberry and Huckleberry

Blueberry and Huckleberry

Vaccinium and Gaylussacia species

Description

These shrubs vary in size from 30 centimeters to 3.7 meters tall. All have alternate, simple leaves. Their fruits may be dark blue, black, or red and have many small seeds. The berries of the wild plants are generally smaller than those of the domesticated varieties.

Habitat and Distribution

These plants prefer open, sunny areas. They are found throughout much of the north temperate regions and at higher elevations in Central America.

Edible Parts

Their fruits are edible raw.

Steve's notes:

If it tastes like a blueberry, it is one. I've never seen or heard of anything that tastes like a blueberry and isn't. Some, like the grouse-whortleberry we used to eat in Montana, are small, red, and don't look much like a blueberry, but they taste just like one.

English pilots in World War Two used to eat jam made of bilberries (a type of blueberry) just before flying at night, to improve their vision. It has since been proven that bilberry (and presumably the closely related other blueberries) have antho-cyanosides, which increase blood flow to the eyes.

Blueberry roots (at least the vaccinium species) can be boiled to make a tea for treating diarrhea.

Blueberry leaves can be used for a tea that will treat urinary tract infections, and stabilize or reduce blood sugar levels in diabetics.



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The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Blueberry and Huckleberry