11 responses to “Vaccinium parvifolium”

  1. arlee

    I used to pick them years ago in Stanley Park, using a hair pick 🙂 Sure miss them in Calgary!

  2. Betty Bahn

    I love the architectural open beauty of this plant. Yes, I have eaten them, well, not the most tasty. I have several in my native garden. I used them for fish bait when young on the Oregon coast. This species seems to prefer open understory, or at least open shade- and seeds happily at the forest edge. BB

  3. Pat Collins

    Are you sure it was the berries used in smoking mixtures? You don’t give a source. I did find an assertion:

    “The Nlaka’pamux sometimes used the leaves in smoking mixtures (Turner et al., 1990).” in “Traditional Plant Foods of Canadian Indigenous Peoples: Nutrition, Botany, and Use” by Harriet V. Kuhnlein, Nancy J. Turner (Taylor & Francis, 1991). The references weren’t free online but I am guessing that is:

    “The Thompson Ethnobotany. Knowledge and Usage of Plants by the Thompson Indians of British Columbia.” by Nancy J Turner (Royal British Columbia Museum, 1990).

    I think there are leaves of several genera of the Ericaceae that provide traditional American smoking material such as the famous Labrador teas and kinnikinnick. This is the first time I have read of the berries being used.

    1. Pat Collins

      Sorry, for the 1990 book the et al were Laurence C. Thompson,‎ M. Terry Thompson and‎ Annie Z. York.

    2. Pat Collins

      Sorry again, that quote was for Vaccinium membranaceum not V. parvifolium. It is too late at night here, I should be asleep.

      Some place called the University of British Columbia has a page describing huckleberries that states:

      “Leaves of huckleberries, particularly Red Huckleberries, were used in smoking mixtures for the Thompson First Nations people.” Unfortunately, they do not say which source contained the information. Though it wasn’t the 1990 Turner book.


      The Wikipedia entry for Vaccinium parvifolium has “The bark or leaves of the plant were brewed for a bitter cold remedy, made as tea or smoked.” but the reference given does not have that information at http://academic.evergreen.edu/projects/evergreenbiota/kingdom/plantae/phylum/anthophyta/family/ericaceae/genus/vaccinium/species/parvifolium/holm-30jun04.html

    3. Dominic Janus

      Thank you! That is indeed the source, I originally found it here: http://lfs-indigenous.sites.olt.ubc.ca/plants/vaccinium-parvifolium-sm/, where the same book is cited.

      1. Pat Collins

        If that was your reference then it was definitely the leaves that were used and not the berries.

        I expect you didn’t see my last reply to myself as it was still in moderation when you posted your reply.

        1. Dominic Janus

          Yes, that was indeed the case. I guess if the 1990 Turner book doesn’t say that the berries were used then you must be right.

          Thank you again for looking into this!

  4. Carol Ross

    Is there any way I can find out whether or not a particular plant has been featured on photo of the day?

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