Gaylussacia species unidentified
Evergreen or deciduous shrubs introduced to Europe from the Americas in the 18th and 19th centuries. ‘Low, branching shrubs, mostly resinous-dotted. Leaves serrate or entire. Flowers small, white or pink, in lateral, bracted racemes, nodding; pedicels usually 2-bracteolate. Calyx tube short, obconic, the lobes persistent. Corolla ovoid to bell-shaped, 5-lobed, the lobes erect or recurved. Stamens equal, usually included ; anthers awnless. Fruit a 10-seeded, berry-like drupe.’ [Bergen – Key and Flora, Northern & Central States p.182/1901].
Horticultural & Botanical History
‘The so-called Huckleberries belong to the Heath family, and to the two genera Gaylussacia and Vaccinium. They are all found growing wild from Maine to the Mississippi and south to the Gulf. The bushes vary greatly in size, from six inches to ten feet or more, and the fruit differs as greatly, from juicy and sweet to dry and insipid. Immense tracts, especially of G. resinosa, the common black huckleberry of our markets, are found usually in clearings on hills, all over the United States north of Georgia and Alabama. The gathering of this crop annually furnishes employment to large numbers of men, women, and children of the poorer class, from whom it is purchased by farmers and others, who daily meet the pickers at an appointed spot, and by them the berries are boxed and forwarded to market. Some attempts have been made to cultivate this berry. [The American Fruit Culturist p.612/].
History at Camden Park
Macarthur reported to Loddiges’ nursery on 1st February, 1849 that the Gay Lusacias were dead on arrival. [MP A2933-1, p.185]. There is no record of a re-importation and it may never have been grown. It is likely that Macarthur was interested in its potential as a commercial crop under Australian conditions.
Published Mar 30, 2010 - 04:29 PM | Last updated Mar 30, 2010 - 04:39 PM