Black huckleberry

Prepared by Jennifer L. D’Appollonio, Assistant Scientist, University of Maine, Orono, ME 04469. Updated February 2018.

Scientific name: Gaylussacia baccata (Wangenh.) K. Koch

Common name(s): black huckleberry

Links: USDA PLANTS Profile, NPIN Profile, Go Botany

Images: (to see enlargements [PC]: click on image, then right click and choose “view image”)


– generally flowers in June in ME

– ripe edible fruit in August

-Twigs are gray to brown with scattered lenticels

  • covered with dense white hairs
  • Older stems smooth and covered with whitish film

-Buds slender and sharp-pointed

  • terminal bud are prominent with lateral buds pressed against the twig
  • Bud scales are shiny with two notches at the tip

-Alternate leaves

  • ovate-lanceolate
  • fine-toothed
  • dark green and shiny above paler below usually tapering to the base and abruptly pointed
  • Midvein with tiny dark glands along the upper side

-Flowers five parted, ten stamens

  • 3-4mm long
  • yellow to red


  • black drupe
  • ripens in late summer

– may be confused with G. bigeloviana, or G. frondosa outside of ME; see left sidebar on Go Botany webpage


-acidic soils


-wet bogs

Natural History:

-Native Americans dried them for winter use



Grob, Barbara Lukacs. “Kasey Hartz Natural Area Reference SheetGaylussacia Baccata (Wangenh.) K.KochHuckleberry.” Kasey Hartz Natural Area Reference Sheet, Muskegon Community College , Dec. 2007,

Hansen, R.W., S.B. Hansen and E.A. Osgood. 1991. Reproductive phenologies of selected flowering plants in eastern Maine forests. ME Agric. Exp. Station Tech. Bull. 143. 17 pp.

Heinrich, B. 1976. Flowering phenologies: Bog, woodland, and disturbed habitats. Ecology. 57(5):890-899.