Fool’s Huckleberry Care: Learn How To Grow False Azalea Plants
False azaleas are popular in gardens and landscapes. They are easy to grow, but they do not produce very many flowers or fruit. There are several varieties of false azaleas, such as fool’s huckleberries (Rhus glabra), red huckleberries (Rhamnus rubra) and blue huckleberries (Ribes rubra).
These plants have different names, which differ from one another.
The name “fool’s huckleberry” refers to their shape and appearance. They look like small berries with a hard shell around them. Their leaves are usually greenish-blue in color and resemble those of a hazelnut tree.
These plants are native to North America, where they were introduced into Europe during the early 1600s by Native Americans. They became extinct in the wild in the United States and Canada by 1900. However, they are still cultivated for their fruits and seeds.
They are known to be poisonous if eaten raw, so it is best to avoid eating them. If you want to eat these plants, then you need to remove all danger of poisoning by boiling them first before consuming them.
Fool’s huckleberries are deciduous shrubs, which grow up to 8 feet in height and about as wide. They grow rapidly and live for over ten years. They lose their leaves during the winter.
The bark on the stems of these plants is grayish-brown in color and is furrowed lengthwise, while the twigs are slender and brown in color. The buds are reddish-brown in color and are covered with a fine layer of scales. The leaves are opposite, oval to elliptical in shape, and finely toothed.
These plants produce small flowers that are well-protected by the leaves. They bloom in early spring and leave fruits (huckles) in the fall. The flowers are bell-shaped and have five petals with anthers growing on stalks.
The petals are of a light purple hue and fade as they age. The fruit produced by these plants are red berries that are edible and have a tart taste.
Fool’s huckleberries prefer growing in partial or full sunlight and well-drained, acidic soil. They can be propagated through seeds or clippings. It is important to avoid over-watering the plants as this could lead to root rot.
You should water these plants just enough so that the soil remains moist at all times. These plants are tolerant of extreme cold, but they are sensitive to frost, so you should keep them indoors when temperatures drop below freezing.
Sources & references used in this article:
Plant association and management guide: Willamette National Forest by SE Logan, MA Hemstrom, W Pavlat – 1987 – books.google.com
Plant association and management guide: Willamette National Forest by MA Hemstrom, SE Logan, W Pavlat – 1987 – books.google.com
Poisonous plants encountered in Oregon by WL Bluhm, P Catalfomo – 1981 – ir.library.oregonstate.edu
Plant association and management guide for the Pacific silver fir zone: Mt. Hood and Willamette National Forests by MA Hemstrom – 1982 – books.google.com
Principal indicator species of forested plant associations on national forests in northeastern Oregon and southeastern Washington by CG Johnson – 1988 – books.google.com
Plant association and management guide for the western hemlock zone: Gifford Pinchot National Forest by C Topik, NM Halverson, DG Brockway – 1986 – books.google.com
Polepatch Huckleberry Enhancement by J Hudec, J Harris, CVR District – ecoshare.info
Poisoning in Man From Eating Poisonous Plants: Present Status in the United States: Preliminary Report by SB O’Leary – Archives of Environmental Health: An International …, 1964 – Taylor & Francis