Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2003
Publication Date: 4/4/2003
Citation: Pooler, M. 2003. Recovery, propagation, and evaluation of the box hucklberry, gaylussacia brachycera (michx.) gray. HortScience. v. 38(5) pg. 668.
Technical Abstract: The box huckleberry (Gaylussacia brachycera (Michx.) Gray) is a slow-growing, dwarf evergreen woody groundcover that is native to both the mountains and coastal plains of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland. It has glossy, dark green, fine-textured foliage, with new growth often red to maroon colored. The box huckleberry¿s global conservation status is listed as G3 and the state listing for Delaware, Maryland and Pennsylvania is S1 (critically imperiled). In the seven states in which it is native, there are less than 20 known populations of this species. Under permit, plants of box huckleberry have been collected from 14 native habitats in six states. Most of these plants have been established in a protected site at the U.S. National Arboretum in Washington, D.C. We hope to use these plants to achieve the following objectives: 1) In cooperation with the Maryland DNR, enhance the recovery of box huckleberry in the wild by reintroducing the plant back into its native habitat in Maryland, where only one plant remains; 2) determine molecular genetic distances among collected populations to guide decisions regarding conservation, preservation, and breeding; 3) determine optimum propagation and production methods so that this species may be evaluated by commercial nurseries as a slow-growing, native, evergreen landscape plant; and 4) perform controlled pollinations between accessions to create new genotypes.