Vaccinium myrtilloides Michx.
Cyanococcus canadensis (Kalm ex A. Rich.) Rydb.
Vaccinium angustifolium Aiton var. myrtilloides (Michx.) House
Vaccinium canadense Kalm ex A. Rich.
Velvetleaf Blueberry, Velvetleaf Huckleberry, Sourtop Blueberry
Velvetleaf blueberry is a North American native.
Identification: These spreading shrubs are up to 20" (50 cm) in height, with stems covered with fine hairs. Leaves are deciduous, alternate, ⅞-1¼" (2.3-3.5 cm) × ¼-⅝" (8-16 mm), bright green above, much lighter below, covered with soft and velvety hairs. Flowers are white, urn-shaped, about ¹/₁₆-³/₁₆" (3-5 mm) in size, appearing May-June. Fruit is ⅛-¼" (6-8 mm) in diameter, usually blue with a whitish waxy bloom, sometimes purplish black.
This Vaccinium comparison chart also includes a couple of similar-appearing species that are not Vaccinium.
Edibility: Edible, like most members of this genus, but fruit is more acid than most. Flowers are also edible.
Vaccinium myrtilloides on Ontario Wildflowers
Vaccinium myrtilloides on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants
Vaccinium myrtilloides at the University of Michigan Herbarium
Vaccinium myrtilloides on the New England Wildflower Society’s GoBotany site
Vaccinium myrtilloides on biology.burke.washington.edu
Vaccinium myrtilloides on BorealForest.org
Vaccinium myrtilloides on eFloras
Vaccinium myrtilloides description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Oct 2013.