Gaylussacia baccata (Wangenh.) K. Koch
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
Synonym(s): Decachaena baccata
USDA Symbol: gaba
A much-branched, stiff, colony-forming shrub, 1-2 ft. tall, with white, tubular flowers in axillary panicles on the previous season growth. Purplish-black, edible berries follow. The small, oval leaves turn shades of orange and crimson in the fall. An upright-branching shrub with small leaves and blue-black berries.
The berries on this shrub make is a valuable plant for wildlife.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Autumn Foliage: yes
Size Class: 1-3 ft.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: MB , NB , NL , NS , PE
Native Distribution: Nf. to Man., s. to GA & LA
Native Habitat: Dry or moist, open woods; thickets; clearings
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry , Moist , Wet
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Sandy or rocky, acid soils.
Conditions Comments: A good ground cover for thin, rocky woods.
BenefitUse Wildlife: Fruits and twigs are used by many forms of wildlife.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagation by seed is possible.
Seed Collection: Fruits may be stripped from branches by hand or with a blueberry rake. Extract seeds by macerating the berries in water.
Seed Treatment: Untreated seeds are slow to germinate. Warm stratification for 30 days followed by incubation with cold temperature has enhanced germination.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Gaylussacia baccata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gaylussacia baccata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gaylussacia baccata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2013-09-08
Research By: TWC Staff