March 4, 2020 DELECTABILITY (Vote for Huckleberries!)

If you have been following the Presidential Primary news, you keep hearing the term “electability”. Well, at Tadpole Haven Native Plants, we’ve been thinking about “delectability”!

Many of our natives are quite edible, though some are appreciated more by wildlife than for people. The native Huckleberries are quite delectable. We currently have lots of lovely Evergreen Huckleberry plants in stock.* Though not as sweet or juicy as the cultivated blueberries, these small purply-black berries are very good!

VAOV IMGP4846Evergreens

Evergreen Huckleberries are top-notch landscape plants with small, shiny leaves. New growth in the spring is red and turns bronze before it changes to green. They thrive in a fairly wide range of conditions: full shade to mostly sun, as long as some shade protects them during the hottest part of a summer’s day (hard to imagine right now!). They do well in pretty dry shade, though they may grow more slowly. Soil that drains, whether clay-ey or sandy, is a major requirement. More of their cute, pink, heather-like flowers — which then produce clusters of fruit – will form if they get a lot of sun. Helpful hint: harvest berries after the first fall frost. The cold weather sets the sugars, making them sweeter – more detectably delectable!

Many other edible plants are in stock right now:

Plants with edible berries or berry-like fruit:

Fragaria chiloensis/Coastal Strawberry, Gaultheria shallon/Salal, Mahonia aquifolium/Tall Oregon Grape, Mahonia repens/Creeping Oregon Grape, Ribes sanguineum/Red-Flowering Currant, Rubus parviflorus/Thimbleberry, Rubus spectabilis/Salmonberry, Malus fusca/Pacific Crabapple, Oemleria cerasiformis/Indian Plum, Amelanchier alnifolia/Saskatoon

Rose “hips” for tea:

Rosa gymnocarpa/Bald-hip Rose, Rosa nutkana/Nootka Rose, Rosa pisocarpa/Cluster Rose

The new, unfurling fiddleheads:

Adiantum pedatum/Maidenhair Fern, Athyrium filix-femina/Lady Fern, Dryopteris expansa/Wood Fern, Polystichum munitum/Sword Fern

With edible leaves:

Claytonia sibirica /Siberian Miner’s Lettuce, Mahonia aquifolium/Tall Oregon Grape, Mahonia repens/Creeping Oregon Grape, Oxalis oregana/Redwood Sorrel, Urtica dioica/Stinging Nettle

With edible flowers:

Claytonia sibirica /Siberian Miner’s Lettuce, Acer macrophyllum/Big-Leaf Maple, Mahonia aquifolium/Tall Oregon Grape, Mahonia repens/Creeping Oregon Grape

Edible bulbs:

Cammassia leichtlinii/Great Camas, Sagittaria latifolia/Wapato

Nuts:

Corylus cornuta/Western Hazelnut

Medicinal berries:

Crataegus douglasii/Douglas Hawthorn, Rhamnus purshiana/Cascara

Medicinal roots:

Oplopanax horridus/Devil’s Club

 

*It will be a few years before these plants will produce notable quantities of fruit.

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