What is an Evergreen Huckleberry?

Sarah Sullins

The evergreen huckleberry is a type of shrub that can grow to between 1.64 and 9.84 ft (0.5 and 3 m) tall, and is also known as the winter huckleberry, shot huckleberry, and the California huckleberry. It has bright pink flowers, green leaves, and produces berries that are purple and black. This shrub blooms late in the year, and is a food source for many forms of wildlife. Berries from the evergreen huckleberry can be eaten by humans as well, and are consumed in many different ways.

Leaves from an evergreen huckleberry may help to increase a person's appetite.
Leaves from an evergreen huckleberry may help to increase a person's appetite.

Evergreen huckleberry shrubs can be found in areas that provide moist soil. They are often seen along the edges of woods, where they can enjoy both sun and shade. These plants are able to grow in total shade or total sun, but will usually do best if they are provided with at least some shade. The soil that these plants grow in must also be acidic and able to drain well.

Diabetics should always seek a doctor's advice before using evergreen huckleberry or any other medicinal supplement.
Diabetics should always seek a doctor's advice before using evergreen huckleberry or any other medicinal supplement.

Flowers on this shrub are usually bright pink, but may also have some white in them. The flowers typically hang downward, in the shape of an urn. They generally bloom during March, April, and May.

Berries on this type of shrub generally ripen in the last few months of the year. They can usually be picked during the months of October or November. The berries can then be used to make jams, jellies, pie fillings, and other sweet snacks. They can also be eaten fresh, can be frozen and saved, or can be smoke-dried.

The berries and leaves of the evergreen huckleberry are said to have medicinal properties as well. Both are filled with vitamin C, and the leaves and stems have quinic acid in them, which was once thought to be a good treatment for gout. The leaves are also thought to be a good way of treating diabetes, because they are thought to be capable of adjusting the level of a person’s blood sugar. Usually, a person’s blood sugar is lowered quickly when the leaf of an evergreen huckleberry is consumed. Leaves from this type of bush may also be used to treat urinary problems and increase a person’s appetite.

Many different forms of wildlife eat from evergreen huckleberry shrubs. Deer, elk, rabbits, sheep, and goats love to consume the leafy green of the shrub. Birds, black bears, mice, and chipmunks like to eat the berries that the shrub produces. Many types of butterflies and bees are attracted to the bright pink flowers on the huckleberry as well.

Berries from the evergreen huckleberry are often used to make jams, jellies and pie fillings.
Berries from the evergreen huckleberry are often used to make jams, jellies and pie fillings.

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