Sunday, March 4, 2012

CA huckleberry ~ 03/04/12 ~ SFB Morse Botanical Reserve

California huckleberry
Vaccinium ovatum
Ericaceae

I almost gave up on being able to ID this plant and was about to post it as a can you ID? It really had me stumped. Based on the bell-shaped flowers, I figured it must belong to the heath family. The leaves are serrated and shiny, so I didn't think it could be a manzanita. Then I looked at all 176 records in Calflora for Ericaceae. Just my luck, its scientific name starts with a 'v'. Sigh. When we were hiking Huckleberry Hill that last 2 years, I never did get around to looking up what a huckleberry plant actually looks like. Well, now I know.

3 comments:

Beyond My Garden said...

I feel your pain. Sometimes we feel that we have all the information we need and STILL a plant won't fit an identification
nellie

Jeannette said...

Musically I suppose "I found my thrill on huckleberry hill..." wouldn't have worked as well as the song about Blueberry Hill...ever heard it? ID that decade?
Can we eat California Huckleberries?

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Thanks, Nellie. I'm slowly getting better at plant IDs, but sometimes I could pull my hair out for trying.

Haha, Jeannette. I saw your comment last night and had that song running through my head all night. It had to be the 1950's, because I recall Richie Cunningham singing it on "Happy Days." The ripe dark berries do look a bit like blueberries and are edible in autumn. Evergreen State College has a good description with references.