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 gray to brown with scattered lenticels often covered with dense white hairs. Older stems smooth and covered with whitish film.  Buds slender and sharp-pointed, terminal bud prominent with lateral buds pressed against the twig.  Bud scales shiny with two notches at the tip.  Alternate leaves elliptic, 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, white to pink in a terminal, flat-topped cluster.  Fruit black and edible.

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


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.