Vaccinium ovatum – Sqw’uqwtsus (Stz’uminus Halkomelem)
Upright, spreading shrub with alternating leathery leaves, brightish pink flowers and black round berries
Height: 1-4 m.
Other Uses: N
Soil: Moist, acidic soil
Watering: Moist to slightly dry
Sun: Shade or sun
Usually found at:
Pollinators & wildlife:
Leaves: Shiny, alternately arranged, egg-shaped leaves are 2 to 3 centimeters (0.8-1.2 inches) long and about a centimeter wide (0.4 inches) with finely serrated edges
Flowers: 3- to 10-flowered axillary clusters; corollas bright pinkish, narrowly bell-shaped, about 7.5 mm long, the lobes short, spreading, and triangular
Berries: Round, edible black berries up to a centimeter (0.4 inches) in diameter.
First Nations uses: Traditionally, berries were eaten fresh, usually with oil. They were also sun or smoke dried, partly mashed, pressed into cake form, and wrapped in leaves or bark. The leaves of the Evergreen Huckleberry may be dried and have been used for medicinal purposes. Teas made from the leaves have been used to lower or modify blood sugar levels and therefore are believed to be useful in treating diabetes. It is also believed that they stimulate appetite, and have astringent and antiseptic qualities that are useful in urinary disorders.