Plant Data Sheet


Alaskan Blueberry,  Vaccinium alaskaense

Vaccinium alaskaense - Alaska HuckleberryRange

Common in the Cascades and coastal       mountains from Alaska to northwest Oregon.

Climate, elevation

Occurs from low to subalpine elevations.  Often in moister sites.

Local occurrence

Often one of the dominant shrubs in Alaskan and BC coastal forests, often growing together with Vaccinium ovalifolium.

Habitat preferences 

Moist coniferous forests and forest openings.

Plant strategy type/successional stage

Vaccinium alaskaense can tolerate shade and can be found in late successional undisturbed forests.

Associated species

Thuja plicata, Tsuga heterophylla, Tsuga mertensiana, Abies amabilis, Xanthocyparis nootkatensis, Polystichum munitum, Vaccinium ovalifolium, Ledum glandulosum, Oxalis oregano, Oplolanax horridus.

May be collected as:


Collection restrictions or guidelines

Berries ripen in mid to late summer.

Seed germination

No information, however for Vaccinium ovalifolium (oval leaf huckleberry)(commonly associated species that hybridizes with V. alaskaense), “Seeds of ovalleaf huckleberry have a short dormant period and exhibit good germination when exposured to 15 days of warm temperatures followed by 15 days of chilling. Properly stored seeds exhibit good germination under a regime of 14 hours of light at 82 degrees F (28 degrees C) followed by 10 hours of darkness at temperatures averaging 55 degrees F (13 degrees C).  Fresh seeds also germinate successfully under these conditions, or when alternately exposed to temperatures of 71 degrees F (22 degrees C) and 41 degrees F (5 degrees C). Huckleberry seedlings first emerge in approximately 1 month and continue to emerge for long periods of time in the absence of cold stratification.  Ovalleaf huckleberry exhibits 50 to 60
percent germination under favorable conditions and up to 93 percent germination has been observed under optimal laboratory conditions.” (

Seed life

Shelf life of up to 12 years.


Recommended seed storage conditions

Not found

Propagation recommendations


Soil or medium requirements

Most huckleberries (Vaccinium spp.) require acidic conditions and
can grow on infertile soils which have relatively small amounts of many

essential elements.

Installation form

Seeds would be cheapest, germination rates are high and annual growth rate in good conditions is up to 10 inches per year.  However for a 1 gallon : $6. (source 5)

Recommended planting density

Not found

Care requirements after installed

Keep soil moist, pH low.

Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

In good conditions annual growth can be up to 10 inches per year, lifespan not found.

Sources cited



2. Hitchcock, C. Leo; Cronquist, Arthur. Flora of the Pacific Northwest: An Illustrated Manual. University of Washington Press. 1987.


3. MacKinnon, Andy; Pojar, Jim. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast:Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing. 1994.







Christer Lundstrom