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Gaylussacia brachycera

Gaylussacia brachycera (Michx.) A. Gray

Box Huckleberry

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s): Buxella brachycera

USDA Symbol: GABR5

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Spreading evergreen shrub, 6-18 in. high, sometimes forming large colonies. Foliage is dark, glossy green, becoming deep bronze to reddish-purple in winter. Flowers are white or pinkish and urn-shaped, borne in few-flowered, axillary clusters. Fruit is dark blue & edible.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: DE , KY , MD , PA , TN , VA , WV
Native Distribution: PA to VA & Lexington Co., SC, w. to KY & TN
Native Habitat: Wooded hillsides; mt. slopes

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Description: Sandy, acid soil.
Conditions Comments: An intriguing evergreen ground cover, suitable to areas beneath pines and rhododendrons where the soil is acid and well-drained. No serious disease or insect problems. Absolutely requires loose, acidic soils supplied with ample organic matter.


Description: Untreated seeds are slow to germinate. Treatment is recommended. The success of cuttings is variable. Best results seem to occur with treated late summer or fall cuttings.
Seed Treatment: Warm followed by cold stratification; one month per treatment.
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Gaylussacia brachycera in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gaylussacia brachycera in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gaylussacia brachycera


Record Modified: 2023-02-10
Research By: TWC Staff

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