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Huckleberry is a name used in North America for several plants in the family Ericaceae, in two closely related genera: Vaccinium and Gaylussacia. The huckleberry is the state fruit of Idaho.


While various Gaylussacia species, such as Vaccinium parvifolium, the Red Huckleberry, are always called huckleberries, other Vaccinium species may be called blueberries or huckleberries depending upon local custom, as in parts of Appalachia.

The fruit of the various species of plant only called huckleberries is generally edible and tasty. The berries are small and round, 5-10 mm in diameter and look like blueberries. Berries range in color according to species from bright red, through dark purple, and into the blues. In taste the berries range from tart to sweet, with a flavor similar to that of a blueberry, especially in blue- and purple-colored varieties. However, many kinds of huckleberries have a noticeable, distinct taste different fro


Several species of huckleberries in the genus Gaylussacia are common in eastern North America, especially G. baccata.


In coastal Central California and Northern California of the United States, the red huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) is found in the Coast Redwood plant community. A prostrate form occurs also. In the Pacific Northwest of North America, the huckleberry plant grows in many places. It can be found in mid-alpine regions, often on the lower slopes of mountains. The plant grows best in damp, acidic soil. Under optimal conditions, huckleberries bushes can be as high as 1.5 to 2 metres (4.9 to 6.6 ft), and usually ripen in mid-to-late summer, or later at higher elevations. The Red Huckleberry (Vaccinium parvifolium) is used horticulturally in coastal naturalistic and native plant public landscapes and private gardens.

Use in slang

Huckleberries hold a place in archaic English slang. The tiny size of the berries led to their frequent use as a way of referring to something small, often in an affectionate way. The phrase “a huckleberry over my persimmon” was used to mean “a bit beyond my abilities”. “I’m your huckleberry” is a way of saying that one is just the right person for a given job.[1]

The range of slang meanings of huckleberry in the 19th century was fairly large, also referring to insignificant persons or nice persons.[2][3]

The ‘garden huckleberry’ (Solanum melanocerasum) is not considered to be a true huckleberry but is instead a member of the nightshade family.

Written on June 13th, 2012 , Fruits Tags:

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    05 July 2012 at 03:57

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