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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Velvetleaf Huckleberry - Vaccinium myrtilloides

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2
(see State Rank Reason below)

Agency Status
MNPS Threat Rank: 2
C-value: 6

External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Only known in Montana from several sites in the vicinity of West Glacier. Some of the known population and associated habitat has been negatively impacted by development (visitor and transportation facilities) within Glacier National Park.
General Description
Clonal, intricately-branched shrubs to 45 cm. Stems terete, hirsute with small, white blisters, reddish to brownish; foliage buds small, acuminate with 4 scales; floral buds larger, rotund, of 6 to 8 scales. Leaves to 40 mm long; blades elliptic, hirsute, at least on the veins, margins entire, ciliate. Inflorescence crowded, few-flowered racemes borne from distal floral buds on last year’s stem. Flowers calyx lobes deltoid; corolla cylindrical bell-shaped, to 5 mm long, pale yellow to greenish-white often with narrow, reddish stripes. Berry blue, to ca. 9 mm broad; calyx lobes persistent on summit of berry (Stickney in Lesica 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. BRIT Press. Fort Worth, TX).

Flowering in mid-June, fruit mature in mid-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
This Vaccinium is the only one in our area that has hairy twigs and leaves.

Species Range
Montana Range


Range Comments
Boreal North America, south to WA, northwestern MT, IA, and VA. Peripheral.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 25

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Moist to rather dry forests in the montane zone.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
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    • Camp, W. H. 1945. The North American Blueberries with notes on Other Groups of Vacciniaceae. Brittonia 5(3):203-275.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • Martin, P.A. 1979. Productivity and taxonomy of the Vaccinium globulare, V. membranaceum complex in western Montana. M.S. thesis. University of Montana, Missoula. 136 pp.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Velvetleaf Huckleberry"
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Citation for data on this website:
Velvetleaf Huckleberry — Vaccinium myrtilloides.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from