About black huckleberry
Heath family (Ericaceae)
Maryland distribution: occurs throughout the state in dry, acidic forest habitat
Height: 1.5 to 3 feet tall, 4 to 5 feet wide
Flowers: dangling clusters of small, delicate red to pink urn-shaped flowers with flared tips; April to May
Fall color: ranges from orange to red to purplish-red
Sun: sun to partial shade
Soil: often found in acidic, sandy or rocky soils; drought-tolerant once established
Garden uses: Black huckleberry's shallow, spreading root system helps stabilize sandy or rocky slopes and can form thickets. Young stems are yellow-green to reddish-brown; older stems are almost black. The delicate branches become brittle with age. The alternate leaves are 1 to 2 1/4 inches long and 1/2 to 1 inches wide. The underside is covered with fine resinous yellow dots and delicate hairs. Edible, sweet berries ripen around July or later and look like a small, bluish-black blueberry.
Wildlife: Blooms support bees (honeybees, bumble bees, mason bees, and others), butterflies, and syrphid flies. The foliage hosts the caterpillars of several moth species. Songbirds and mammals eat the fruit.