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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Oval-leaf Huckleberry - Vaccinium ovalifolium

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Not Documented

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

Agency Status


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State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Vaccinium ovalifolium has not been documented in Montana. Past reports have all come from mis-identified specimens. However, the potential for occurrence in Montana exists as northern Idaho supports populations. Potential specimens should be provided to and verified at one of our State Herbaria (University of Montana, Montana State University, or Montana State University-Billings). A conservation status rank is not applicable (SNA) because this plant is not known to occur in Montana.
General Description
This excerpt is adapted from the Flora of North America (Vander Kloet in FNA 2009).

PLANTS: Stems clumped, suckering when disturbed, up to 4 m tall; twigs yellow-green or golden brown, glaucous, usually terete, sometimes somewhat angled, glabrous, sometimes hairy in lines.

LEAVES:Leaf blades 25-39 mm long, ovate to elliptic (rarely obovate), pale green or glaucous below, slightly darker pale green above, margins entire to obscurely serrate.

INFLORESCENCE: Calyx lobes vestigial or absent, thin, glaucous and glabrous; corolla 5-7 mm long, globose, sometimes urceolate, and pink, bronze-pink, or greenish white; filaments pilose basally to glabrous. Berries 8-10 mm diameter, blue, dull purplish black, or black, sometimes glaucous.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Oval-leaf Huckleberry - Vaccinium ovalifolium, Not Documented in Montana
Identified by a combination of these characters:
*Habit: Tall shrub that grows in clumps (rarely colonies; suckering when disturbed);
*Twigs: Usually round in diameter;
*Leaves: Mostly without hairs, without glands, and smooth (entire) margins. Mid-vein or top may have some hairs; and
*Berries: Deep purplish, bluish, or black.

Potential specimens should be provided to and verified at one of our State Herbaria:
University of Montana (MONTU), Montana State University (MONT), or Montana State University-Billings (MSUB).

Coniferous woods and adjacent areas, peaty slopes (Vander Kloet in FNA 2009).

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).

  • 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.
    • 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?
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
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Citation for data on this website:
Oval-leaf Huckleberry — Vaccinium ovalifolium.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from