Vaccinium ovatum Pursh
California huckleberry, Evergreen blueberry, Evergreen huckleberry
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Synonym(s): Vaccinium ovatum var. saporosum
USDA Symbol: vaov2
Evergreen blueberry is an elegant, much-branched, evergreen shrub, 2-6 ft. tall, with a neat habit and attractive leaves. The leathery leaves are oval and shiny above, paler beneath. Axillary racemes of pink, bell-shaped flowers are followed by dark, edible berries. New growth in the spring is coppery red.
Birds and mammals eat the berries, which resemble blueberries.
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Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit: Black, Purple
Size Class: 6-12 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: CA , OR , WA
Native Distribution: W. of the Cascades from s.w. B.C. to n. CA & sporadic southward
Native Habitat: Dry, shaded slopes; moister, woodland edges
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Poor, acid, well-drained soil.
Conditions Comments: Slow-growing. May become spindly with extremes of moisture and shade.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Birds and mammals eat the berries.
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: Most commonly propagated by softwood cuttings taken in spring. Vaccinium will also root from hardwood cuttings of unbranched shoots of previous season. Seeds may need to be stratified and should be sown on a slightly acid soil mix.
Seed Treatment: Stratify for 60-90 days at 41 degrees. No treatment may give good results.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
Find native plant species by state. Each list contains commercially available species suitable for gardens and planned landscapes. Once you have selected a collection, you can browse the collection or search within it using the combination search.View Recommended Species page
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Vaccinium ovatum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Vaccinium ovatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Vaccinium ovatum
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff