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Vaccinium arboreum

Common Name(s):
Sparkleberry
Categories:
Native Plants, Shrubs, Trees
Comment:

A shrub with a crooked trunk, peeling gray to reddish brown shreddy bark and attractive red fall foliage. It is heat and drought toleran and native to southeastern US.

Regions:  Piedmont, Coastal plains

Seasons of Interest:

    Floliage: Fall    Blooms:   Spring/summer       Bark: Winter   Fruit/Seed/Nut:  Fall

Wildlife Value: These plants are frequently damaged by deer.  Sparkleberry is a nectar plant for butterflies and a larval food for Henry's elfin butterflies. The fruit is eaten by songbirds, small mammals, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys and black bears. It provides winter cover.  Adult butterflies nectar from the blooms.  The bark is shreddy and patchy with reds, browns and gray colors present.

Members of the genus Vaccinium support the following specialized bees:Andrena (Conandrena) bradleyiAndrena (Andrena) carolinaPanurginus atramontensisHabropoda laboriosaColletes productusColletes validus, and Osmia (Melanosmia) virga.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  

Height:
6-20 ft.
Flower:
The Sparkleberry has small, bell shaped, fragrant white flowers in spring. It has gritty non juicy berries that last into the winter.
Zones:
7 to 9
Habit:
Deciduous to evergreen
Site:
Sparkleberry grow best in sun to partial shade. It likes dry to moist soil, and is drought tolerant.
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Spreading shrub to small tree; crooked trunk
Exposure:
Sun to partial shade; dry to moist soil
Fruit:
Fragrant white flowers in spring; gritty nonjuicy berries last into winter
Width:
10-15 ft.
Leaf:
The Sparkleberry has alternate, simple, leathery, glossy dark green leaves, 0.5 to 2 in. long. The leaves show red to crimson fall color.
Tags:
heat tolerant, deciduous, drought tolerant, fall color, bees, birds, pollinator, specialized bees, native bees, larval food, winter interest, butterflies, wildlife

NCCES plant id: 565

Vaccinium arboreum Fruits
Vaccinium arboreum Flowers
Buddha Dog, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Vaccinium arboreum Form
James Steakley, CC-BY-SA-3.0