Because they’re in precisely the exact same family as several woodland shrubs, blueberries share several features with their cousins, like bell-shaped blooms, shiny purple leaves and round berries. The berries of plants such as huckleberry or salal are edible and can be eaten raw or used in jams. Furthermore, if you have a shady garden, these understory plants are an outstanding choice where you can not develop sun-loving blueberries.
Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatum) is also referred to as wild blueberry and one look at this plant will inform you why. The plant grows well in coastal areas where the berries will have a reddish tinge or in the mountains where the berries will be dark blue. The berries of huckleberry have a taste that’s sweeter than blueberries and can be eaten raw. Huckleberry can tolerate some sun, but prefers dappled shade and must be guarded from midday heat. Contrary to lemons, the huckleberry shrub is evergreen.
Salal (Gaultheria shallon) is indigenous to western North America. This sprawling shrub has evergreen leaves which are larger than blueberry leaves, however they have exactly the same dark, glossy look. The blossoms and berries closely resemble those of blueberries. The sprawling tree fits finest in huge gardens and can tolerate whole sun to shade, as well as poor soil. The dark blue berries are not as sweet as blueberries and can be eaten raw or cooked into jams or sauces.
Kinnikinninck (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) ranges naturally in woodlands from California to Alaska. The flowers and leaves of the plant are easily mistaken for many of blueberries. Although round like a blueberry, kinnikinnick berries are bright red and attract birds to your garden. These berries are edible, but have little flavor; they can be cooked with sugar into a syrup for flavoring juices or water. This plant tends to sprawl and, if kept trimmed, can be educated to your ground cover.
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) looks strikingly like a blueberry plant until winter arrives. In winter, the evergreen leaves offer a splash of colour as they turn red from cold temperatures. The round berries have a dusky red colour and resemble the red-berried variety of blueberries, but have the minty taste of wintergreen. Although indigenous to the eastern United States, this shrub also grows well in temperate western places. Wintergreen prefers in shade to part shade and cannot tolerate whole sun.