Huckleberry – Identification and Growing

Q: When I was growing up, my mother used to make huckleberry jam. The taste was quite different from blueberries. She was from East Tennessee, but I don’t remember if she gathered the huckleberries there or in Georgia. Do you know whether they will grow in Georgia?

A: “Huckleberry” is a name given to several plants. True huckleberry is Gaylussacia baccata. It grows mostly in the Northeast and Canada. The blueberry family Vaccinum contains various small-fruited plants known as huckleberry, lingonberry, sparkleberry, farklebery, partridgeberry, etc. All of them grow in the Appalachian mountains so my bet is that your mother was harvesting one of the blueberry family members that is locally called a huckleberry.