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Montana Field Guides

Common Huckleberry - Vaccinium membranaceum
Other Names:  Vaccinium globulare

Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S5
C-value: 4


Agency Status
USFWS:
USFS:
BLM:


 

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General Description
Plants generally in arhizomatous clumps. Stems mostly less than 2 m tall; branchlets of current season sometimes angled, brownish or yellowish to reddish green, glabrous or hairy in lines. Leaf blades 25-55 mm long, 10-25 mm wide, broadly elliptic to ovate or obovate, margins strongly serrate, apex rounded to acute or acuminate. Calyx urceolate to globose, glabrous, green, the lobes typically obscure. Corolla 3-5 mm long x 5-7 mm wide, of varying shades from whitish to pinkish or yellowish-brown; glabrous. Berry typically broade than tall, 8-13 mm wide, waxy-shiny from dark purple-black to reddish or rarely whitish (adapted largely from Vander Kloet 2009 in Flora N. Amer., Vol. 8).

For our plants, Peter Stickney (in Lesica 2012) recognizes a narrower concept of this species, separating out Vaccinium globulare Rybd. based on differences in characters of the leaf blades and corolla.

Species Range
Montana Range

Year-round
 


Range Comments
BC east to ON and MI, south to CA, AZ, and CO (adapted from Vander Kloet 2009 in Flora N. Amer. Vol. 8).

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 5668

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

Recency

 

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



Habitat
Cool coniferous forests and open areas especially after disturbance; montane to subapline.

Ecology
POLLINATORS
The following animal species have been reported as pollinators of this plant species or its genus where their geographic ranges overlap: Bombus vagans, Bombus appositus, Bombus centralis, Bombus fervidus, Bombus flavifrons, Bombus frigidus, Bombus melanopygus, Bombus mixtus, Bombus nevadensis, Bombus rufocinctus, Bombus ternarius, Bombus sitkensis, Bombus occidentalis, Bombus pensylvanicus, Bombus bimaculatus, Bombus griseocollis, Bombus impatiens, Bombus insularis, Bombus bohemicus, and Bombus flavidus (Heinrich 1976, Thorp et al. 1983, MacKenzie and Averill 1995, Stubbs and Drummond 2001, Ratti et al. 2008, Colla and Dumesh 2010, Colla and Ratti 2010, Colla et al. 2011, Williams et al. 2014).

References
  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Colla, S., L. Richardson, and P. Williams. 2011. Bumble bees of the eastern United States. Washington, DC: USDA Forest Service, Pollinator Partnership. 103 p.
    • Colla, S.R. and C.M. Ratti. 2010. Evidence for the decline of the western bumble bee (Bombus occidentalis Greene) in British Columbia. Pan-Pacific Entomologist 86(2): 32-34.
    • Colla, S.R. and S. Dumesh. 2010. The bumble bees of southern Ontario: notes on natural history and distribution. Journal of the Entomological Society of Ontario 141: 39-68.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • MacKenzie, K.E. and A. L. Averill. 1995. Bee (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) diversity and abundance on cranberry in southeastern Massachusetts. Annals of the Entomological Society of America 88(3): 334-341.
    • Ratti, C.M., H.A. Higo, T.L. Griswold, and M.L. Winston. 2008. Bumble bees influence berry size in comercial Vaccinium spp. cultivation in British Columbia. Canadian Entomologist 140(3): 348-363.
    • Stubbs, C.S. and F.A. Drummond. 2001. Bombus impatiens (Hymenoptera: Apidae): an alternative to Apis mellifera (Hymenoptera: Apidae) for lowbush blueberry pollination. Journal of Economic Entomology 94:609-616.
    • Thorp, R.W., D.S. Horning, and L.L. Dunning. 1983. Bumble bees and cuckoo bumble bees of California (Hymenoptera: Apidae). Bulletin of the California Insect Survey 23:1-79.
    • Williams, P., R. Thorp, L. Richardson, and S. Colla. 2014. Bumble Bees of North America. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. 208 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Ament, R.J. 1995. Pioneer Plant Communities Five Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 216 p.
    • Aradottir, A.L. 1984. Ammonia volatilization from native grasslands and forests of SW Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 48 p.
    • Clark, D. 1991. The effect of fire on Yellowstone ecosystem seed banks. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 115 pp.
    • Conway, T.M. 1982. Response of understory vegetation to varied lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta) spacing intervals in Western Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bpzeman, MT: Montana State University. 76 p.
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Dale, D. 1973. Effects of trail use under forests in the Madison Range, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 96 pp.
    • Dolan, A.C. 2016. Insects associated with Montana's huckleberry (Ericaceae: Vaccinium globulare) plants and the bumble bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) of Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 160 p.
    • Forcella, F. 1977. Flora, chorology, biomass and productivity of the Pinus albicaulis-Vaccinium scoparium association. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 99 pp.
    • Fultz, J.E. 2005. Effects of shelterwood management on flower-visiting insects and their floral resources. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 163 p.
    • Gaffney, W.S. 1941. The effects of winter elk browsing, South Fork of the Flathead River, Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management 5(4):427-453.
    • Harting, A.L. 1985. Relationships between activity patterns and foraging strategies of Yellowstone Grizzly Bears. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 103 p.
    • Jones, W. W. 1901. Preliminary flora of Gallatin County. M.S. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State College. 78 pp.
    • Klebenow, D.A. 1965. A montane forest winter deer habitat in western Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management 29(1):27-33.
    • 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.
    • Martin, S.A. 1985. Ecology of the Rock Creek bighorn sheep herd, Beartooth Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 152 p.
    • Pac, D.F. 1976. Distribution, movements, and habitat use during spring, summer, and fall by mule deer associated with Armstrong winter range, Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 121 p.
    • Plaggemeyer, J.B. 1995. Effects of overstory thinning on lodgepole pine understories. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 55 p.
    • Saunders, J.K. Jr. 1955. Food habits and range use of the Rocky Mountain goat in the Crazy Mountains, Montana. Journal of Wildlife Management 19(4):429-437.
    • Saunders, J.K., Jr. 1954. A two-year investigation of the food habits and range use of the Rocky Mountain goat in the Crazy Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 22 p.
    • Simanonok, M. 2018. Plant-pollinator network assembly after wildfire. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 123 p.
    • Simanonok, M.P. and L.A. Burkle. 2019. Nesting success of wood-cavity-nesting bees declines with increasing time since wildfire. Ecology and Evolution 9:12436-12445.
    • Steerey, W. F. 1979. Distribution, range use and population characteristics of Mule Deer associated with the Schafer Creek winter range, Bridger Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 119 p.
    • Stewart, S.T. 1975. Ecology of the West Rosebud and Stillwater bighorn sheep herds, Beartooth Mountains, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 130 p.
    • Tyers, D.B. 2003. Winter ecology of moose on the Northern Yellowstone Winter Range. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 308 p.
    • White, D.D, Jr. 1996. Two Grizzly Bear studies: moth feeding ecology and male reproductive biology. Ph.D. Dissertation. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 79 p.
    • Wood, M.A. 1981. Small mammal communities after two recent fires in Yellowstone National Park. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, Montana: Montana State University. 58 p.
    • Zimmer, J.P. 2004. Winter habitat use and diet of Snowshoe Hares in the Gardiner, Montana area. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 65 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Common Huckleberry — Vaccinium membranaceum.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from