Blueberry and Huckleberry
Vaccinium and Gaylussacia species
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
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.
Their fruits are edible raw.
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