How to Identify Huckleberries

Overview

Although there are approximately 40 different huckleberry plant species, these shrubs have similar leaf shapes and fruit characteristics. If you search for huckleberries, you generally will have to go off the beaten path and into wilderness areas where huckleberries grow wild. Huckleberries are close relatives to blueberries, although the huckleberry fruit has significantly different seeds than blueberry fruit does.

Step 1

Find huckleberry shrubs growing in shady forests and thickets. These shrubs often grow prolifically in burn areas in the wilderness. Huckleberry shrubs range in size from 2 feet to 6 feet high and they usually grow as a fully branched bush. Huckleberry shrubs grow in western regions of the United States and are particularly widespread in mountainous elevations.

Step 2

Examine the leaves of a bush to find thin leaves with pointed tips that differ in size, depending upon the huckleberry variety. Some leaves are small and narrow and others are larger. Huckleberry leaves are generally similar in shape; however, the size of the leaves varies with the different huckleberry species. Huckleberry leaves are a deep green color and the stems are usually fine instead of thick and sturdy.

Step 3

View the huckleberry fruits in the spring. Huckleberry flowers are pink and they resemble dainty bells as they bloom in clusters on the huckleberry shrub stems.

Step 4

Look for huckleberries on the huckleberry shrubs between the months of June and September. Huckleberries are round like blueberries, except they may be orange, reddish-pink, light blue, purple or even black (depending upon the huckleberry variety). Huckleberries all have 10 large seeds in each berry.

References

  • Tucson Agriculture Research Service: Small Fruits and Brambles
  • Our Big Earth: The Edible Forest
Keywords: huckleberry plant species, search for huckleberries, huckleberry fruit, identify huckleberries

About this Author

Kathryn Hatter is a 42-year-old veteran homeschool educator and regular contributor to Natural News. She is an accomplished gardener, seamstress, quilter, painter, cook, decorator, digital graphics creator and she enjoys technical and computer gadgets. She began writing for Internet publications in 2007. She is interested in natural health and hopes to continue her formal education in the health field (nursing) when family commitments will allow.