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Vaccinium scoparium 16883

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Ordo: Ericales

Familia: Ericaceae
Subfamilia: Vaccinioideae
Tribus: Vaccinieae
Genus: Vaccinium
Sectio: V. sect. Myrtillus
Species: Vaccinium scoparium

Vaccinium scoparium Leiberg, 1897

Vaccinium myrtillus var. microphyllum Hook.

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
USA (California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington State, Wyoming), Canada (Alberta, British Columbia)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Leiberg, J.B., 1897. Contributions from the United States National Herbarium 5(2): 103.


Hassler, M. 2020. Vaccinium scoparium. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 29. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Vaccinium scoparium in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 29. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Vaccinium scoparium. Published online. Accessed: May 29 2020.
Tropicos.org 2020. Vaccinium scoparium. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 29.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Vaccinium scoparium in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 2020 May 29.

Vernacular names
English: grouse whortleberry, grouseberry, littleleaf huckleberry

Vaccinium scoparium is a species of huckleberry known by the common names grouse whortleberry, grouseberry, and littleleaf huckleberry.

It is native to western North America, primarily in the Rockies, Cascades, and Black Hills from British Columbia and Alberta south to far northern California to Colorado and New Mexico, and east to South Dakota.[3] It grows in mountain habitat such as forests, meadows, and talus, occurring in subalpine and alpine climates at elevations of 700 to 3000 meters (2,333 - 10,000 feet. It is a common understory plant in many forested regions of the Rocky Mountains, being common to abundant in some areas.[4]


Vaccinium scoparium is a squat, bushy rhizomatous shrub growing not more than half a meter (20 inches) in maximum height. It is matted and clumpy, and it spreads outward with the stems rooting at nodes where it comes in contact with moist substrate. The branches are broomlike when leaflike and new green twigs have sharp angles. The deciduous leaves are alternately arranged, the serrated oval leaf blades up to 1.5 centimeters (0.6 inches) in length.

Solitary flowers occur in the leaf axils. Each is about 4 millimeters (0.16 inches) long, urn-shaped, and pink.

The fruit is a soft, bright red berry up to 6 millimeters in width. It has a tart flavor.[5]

This shrub provides food for many large mammal species, such as elk, mule deer, and bears, and many smaller animals, such as squirrels, foxes, skunks, and a variety of birds.[4]

The berries are edible[6] and were used for food by many Native American groups, including the Kootenay, Okanogan, and Shuswap. They are small and difficult to collect in large quantities, and Native people likely used combs made of wood or fishbones to harvest them.[4][5]

Tropicos, Vaccinium scoparium Leiberg ex Coville
The Plant List, Vaccinium scoparium Leiberg ex Coville
Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
US Forest Service Fire Ecology
Flora of North America, Vaccinium scoparium Leiberg ex Coville, Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 5: 103. 1897. Grouse whortleberry
Benoliel, Doug (2011). Northwest Foraging: The Classic Guide to Edible Plants of the Pacific Northwest (Rev. and updated ed.). Seattle, WA: Skipstone. p. 47. ISBN 978-1-59485-366-1. OCLC 668195076.

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