Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Gaylussacia frondosa (L.) Torr. & Gray
- Family: Heath (Ericaceae)
- Flowering: May-June
- Field Marks: This is the only deciduous species of huckleberry with the lower surface of the
- Habitat: Moist to dry soils in oak woods and pinelands, bogs, bays, swamps.
- Habit: Shrub with many upright, stiff branchlets, up to 6 feet tall.
- Stems: Slender, gray, smooth or hairy, glandular-dotted.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, not evergreen, not leathery, elliptic to oval to oblanceolate, more
or less rounded at the tip, tapering to the base, without teeth, smooth or hairy on both surfaces,
distinctly paler on the lower surface, dotted, up to 3 inches long, up to 1 1/4 inches wide.
- Flowers: Several in short racemes, bell-shaped; each flower up to 1/6 inch long, subtended by
small, narrow bracts shorter than the flower stalks.
- Sepals: 5, green, although sometimes glaucous, united to form a short cup, smooth, dotted.
- Petals: 5, greenish white to pinkish, united to form a short-cylindric cup.
- Stamens: 10.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Berry-like drupes, bluish, glaucous, spherical, up to 1/3 inch in diameter, sweet; nutlets
- Notes: This is an extremely variable species, particularly with respect to leaf size and hairiness.
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