The evergreen huckleberry is a one of many evergreen shrubs native to Pacific coastal forests.
Huckleberries were first noted by Captain Lewis at Oregon’s Fort Clatsop in 1806. The plant was brought into cultivation by David Douglas in 1826.
This shrub can grow to 12 feet or more in the shade, sometimes a bit erratic growth spikes. It, like other berries in the vaccinium family, like acidic soil. The huckleberry tolerates salt spray and strong winds.
In the spring, branches are covered with clusters of small, pinkish-white bell-shaped flowers which yield tiny blue-black fruit in late summer.
Flowers attract bees, birds, and butterflies. Berries are eaten by songbirds, mammals, and humans.
Like its most well-known relative, the common blueberry, huckleberries contain high concentrations of antioxidants and were favored by native populations.
Today, they are frequently eaten raw and used to make pies, jams, jellies, syrups, and wine.