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Common Name: Black Huckleberry
Gaylussacia baccata is a deciduous shrub that can grow up to 1.00 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food and medicine
Eastern N. America - Newfoundland to Georgia, Manitoba, Wisconsin and Kentucky.
Dry or moist woods, thickets and clearings[
], on acidic sandy soils[
Requires a lime-free moist peaty soil, thriving in sun or part shade[
Plants are hardy to about -15°c[
Occasionally cultivated for its edible fruit, there are some named varieties selected for their larger fruits[
The small oval leaves are covered with globules on the underside from which a resinous gum is exuded[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. Deliciously spicy and sweet, they can be eaten out of hand or used in pies, preserves etc[
]. They can also be dried for later use[
]. The dried fruit can be ground into a powder then mixed with cereal flours to make bread[
]. The fruit is rather seedy[
]. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter[
An infusion of the leaves, or the bark, has been used in the treatment of dysentery[
An infusion of the leaves has been used in the treatment of Bright's disease[
Seed - best sown in the autumn in a cold frame[
]. Stored seed requires 1 month warm stratification followed by 2 months cold[
]. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots of lime-free compost and grow them on in light shade in a greenhouse or cold frame for at least their first winter. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer when they are at least 15cm tall.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, mid summer in a frame[
Division in spring.