Velvetleaf Blueberry, NPS photoVelvetleaf Blueberry, NPS photo, Danny OnVelvetleaf Blueberry, NPS photo

Velvetleaf blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides) is found in moist to rather dry montane forests. The small deciduous shrub can grow up to three feet tall and is normally found in small colonies. The brown or green twigs, as well as the leaves, are distinctively hairy, a feature found only in this species of blueberry in the area. An abundant species in Canada and the Great Lakes region, there are only a few known populations in Montana, which are found within the vicinity of West Glacier. Development of visitor and transportation facilities is believed to be the main impact to the populations of velvetleaf blueberry. Plants were excavated prior to disturbance and successfully transplanted to preserve as many individual plants as possible. Flowering occurs in mid-June and berries are usually available beginning in mid-August.