Mudcat Café message #1884178 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #96374   Message #1884178
Posted By: Q (Frank Staplin)
12-Nov-06 - 06:00 PM
Thread Name: Folklore: significance of huckleberries
Subject: RE: Folklore: significance of huckleberries
Common names can be misleading.

Here in Alberta, the common names are dwarf Bilberry or blueberry. It belongs to the heath family. The name mostly applied is Vaccinium caespitosum, although here there are five species that are so alike that a botanical key is needed to separate them.
In southern British Columbia, there is a Vaccinium the locals call huckleberry; the plant and berry are slightly larger than those in Alberta. I am not sure which species of Vaccinium it is, but they make better pies.

The plant is very small, seldom over 10 inches. The berry is blue and sweet, the flower pink.
It grows best here on the floor of pine woods, and on thinly wooded slopes.

The taste, whichever of these little wild species it is, is much stronger than that of the larger commercial blueberry; also when freezing for future use, double-bagging is recommended because the strong flavor may affect the taste of other frozen fruits.
The wild blueberry has recently become available frozen, as more organics appear in the groceries. I use them to make blueberry pancakes.

The Saskatoon berry is also popular for pies in Canada's prairie provinces; it is unrelated to the blueberry, belonging to the rose family, proper name Amelanchier alnifolia. It may grow up to 12 feet in height.