Gaylussacia ursina (M.A.Curtis) Torr. & A.Gray

Bear Huckleberry

Family: Ericaceae

Genus: Gaylussacia

Category: Shrub - Deciduous

Zones: 3 to 7

Size: To 3' tall and wider

Exposure: Sun, Filtered Sun, Part Shade


New leaves red maturing to green. Small green flowers with a tint of red.

From Trees & Shrubs Brit. Isles: A deciduous shrub of loose branching habit, 2 to 5 ft. high ; young twigs slightly downy. Leaves obovate or oval, pointed, tapering or rounded at the base ; 1 1/2 to 4 ins. long, 3/4 to 1 1/2 ins. wide ; green and more or less downy on both sides, thin. Flowers produced during June in racemes 1 to 2 ins. long, each of the six to ten flowers being borne on a slender stalk about i in. long. Corolla roundish, bell-shaped, dull white or reddish, 1/5 in. long, lobes recurved. Berry shining black, globose, 1/3 to 1/2 in. diameter.


Published in Mem. Amer. Acad. Arts 3: 49 t. 10 in 1846.

Basionym Vaccinium ursinum M.A.Curtis.

Found in a small area of the southern Appalachians in NC, TN, GA and SC.

Also published in Trees & Shrubs Brit. Isles 1: 585 in 1914 Native of the south-eastern United States, and especially on the mountains of N, Carolina, whence it was introduced to Kew in 1891. It is most nearly allied to G. frondosa, differing in the pointed, thinner leaves, green on both sides, and in having a black fruit, but resembling that species in the loose sparsely flowered racemes. The fruit is described as insipid.


Sources of Information

© 2010-12 Lisa J. Miner