Say what….?

Highbush cranberry (night shot)

A night shot of highbush cranberry -- an indigenous Alaskan (i.e., North American) species.

I finally got around to reading the April issue of the Glycemic Index Newsletter.

But I was pretty astounded to read, in an otherwise excellent article about how wonderful blueberries are (yes they are!), the following statement:

Wild blueberries are one of three berries native to North America – the others are cranberry and Concord grapes.

Huh? You really believe there are only three berries native to the whole North American continent?

I commented:

Excuse me, but there are lots more berries native to North America than just the three you name. I grew up picking wild huckleberries in Montana with my family (Vaccinium globulare and Vaccinium membranaceum), and in Alaska where I live now there are numerous berry species that aren’t mentioned here — highbush cranberry, lowbush cranberry, watermelon berry (AKA twisted stalk), salmonberry, timberberry, crowberry… to name but a few. All of these are edible.

(Note that lowbush cranberry & highbush cranberry are not the same species as those growing in the eastern U.S., or that are popularly associated with the cranberry sauce eaten with U.S. Thanksgiving dinner.)

Come to think of it, the species of blueberry which grows in the alpine tundra in the Chugach Mountains is probably also different from the species mentioned in the article.

And probably have a lot of the same benefits. I bet my childhood huckleberries do too.

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