Wild Blueberry

There are six different forms of blueberry which grow on the Southern Coast of British Columbia: mólsem (tall marsh blueberry), lhewqi':m (short grey march blueberry), léth'ilets (tall grey marsh blueberry), sxw'éxixeq (small low-bush grey mountain blueberry), xwixwekw' (tall sweet mountain blueberry) and kwxwo:mels (shiny black mountain huckleberry/blueberry). All of these berries are excellent sources of vitamin C. As their names describe, these berries can be found in a very diverse group of climatic zones , from muskeg to shaded woods to rocky places. Blueberries can be picked from the middle of summer until the fall. Not only picked for consumption or storage, these berries were also picked for trading with those who did not have access to this resource, such as the Squamish, Sechelt and the mainland Comox people.

lhewqi':m, the short grey marsh blueberry also known as the Canada blueberry, is commonly found in supermarkets and labelled "blueberry." These blueberries grow up to 40 centimetres in height and are found in dense patches. lhewqi':m are quite sweet and are found in small clusters on the shrub. The berries are bluish in appearance and maintain a matte-like finish. These blueberries are common to the Fraser Valley and other low-lying valleys on the Pacific coast. It is interesting to note that there are known cases of bush-transplanting to enable berry harvests in closer bogs.

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