Monday, 23 July 2012

Huckleberry

Huckleberry is a name used in North America for several plants in the family Ericaceae, in two closely related genera: Vaccinium and Gaylussacia. The huckleberry is the state fruit of Idaho.

While various Gaylussacia species, such as Vaccinium parvifolium, the Red Huckleberry, are always called huckleberries, other Vaccinium species may be called blueberries or huckleberries depending upon local custom, as in parts of Appalachia.

The fruit of the various species of plant only called huckleberries is generally edible and tasty. The berries are small and round, 5-10 mm in diameter and look like blueberries. Berries range in color according to species from bright red, through dark purple, and into the blues. In taste the berries range from tart to sweet, with a flavor similar to that of a blueberry, especially in blue- and purple-colored varieties. However, many kinds of huckleberries have a noticeable, distinct taste different from blueberries, and some have noticeably larger seeds. Huckleberries are enjoyed by many animals, including bears, birds, and also by humans.
The 'garden huckleberry' (Solanum melanocerasum) is not considered to be a true huckleberry but is instead a member of the nightshade family.

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