Species: Early Blueberry (Vaccinium ovalifolium)

Information About

Early Blueberry

Quick Facts

Vaccinium ovalifolium


naanyaa kanat 'aayí

Other Names

oval-leaf blueberry,




Early Blueberry in Detail.

Vaccinium ovalifolium, commonly known as oval-leaf blueberry or early blueberry, is a species of deciduous shrub that is native to North America, including Alaska. It is commonly found in subalpine and alpine zones, as well as in forests and meadows, often growing in acidic soils.

In Alaska, early blueberry typically grows in the coastal, forest, and tundra, ranging from sea level up to subalpine in elevation. It is an important food source for a variety of wildlife, including bears, birds, and small mammals, as well as for some indigenous peoples who traditionally harvest the berries for food and medicinal purposes.

The shrub typically grows to be 1-3 feet tall, with oval-shaped leaves that are up to 2 inches long and turn a reddish color in the fall. It produces small, bell-shaped white or pinkish flowers in the spring, which are followed by small blue-black berries that are edible and have a sweet-tart flavor.

Early blueberry is adapted to the harsh environmental conditions found in Alaska, including cold temperatures, short growing seasons, and strong winds. It is also able to tolerate acidic soils and low nutrient levels, which are common in the region.


American Marten

Habitat & Range

Early blueberry are found throughout Southeast Alaska and coastal south-central Alaska. Usually growing in somewhat shaded areas, though they can easily be found on an open sub-alpine brushy hill-side.


Pictures of Early Blueberry.