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Low Bush Blueberry Vaccinium angustifolium

Phonetic Spelling
vak-SIN-ee-um an-gus-tee-FOH-lee-um
Description

Low bush blueberry is a low-growing small native deciduous shrub.  It can be found growing in open conifer woods, sandy or rocky balds and old fields. Prefers full sun to partial shade, acidic moist to dry soils.  Plant more than one for the best fruit production.  It is commonly propagated in the spring by taking softwood cuttings or you can grow it from seed. There are two types of blueberries: highbush and low bush. Highbush are those that are commonly found in stores. Lowbush blueberries are smaller and sweeter, and are therefore used often in jams and jellies.

This plant will benefit from acidic soils that are moist, high in organic matter and well drained.  It can be grown in full sun to part shade, however, a location with full sun with result into more blooms, more fruit and a more showy fall foliage.

Blooming occurs on old wood.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Spotted winged drosophila.  Alkaline soils can lead to leaf chlorosis.

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Vaccinium.

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See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Burgundy'
    Excellent red fall color.
  • 'Claret'
    Excellent red fall color.
  • 'Cumberland'
    High quality, large sweet fruit.
  • 'Fundy'
    High quality, large sweet fruit.
  • 'Jonesboro'
    Excellent red fall color.
  • 'North Country'
    2' tall, sweet, mild fruit, red fall color.
  • 'Northsky'
    18", small, flavorful fruit.
  • 'Pretty Yellow'
    Under 12" tall, yellowish fall color.
  • 'Spring'
    Under 12" tall, yellowish fall color.
  • 'Tophat'
    2' tall, container, bears fruit without a pollinator.
  • 'Verde'
    Under 12" tall, yellowish fall color.
'Burgundy', 'Claret', 'Cumberland', 'Fundy', 'Jonesboro', 'North Country', 'Northsky', 'Pretty Yellow', 'Spring', 'Tophat', 'Verde'
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#shrub#showy#small shrub#deciduous shrub#native shrub#woody#NC native#glossy leaves#groundcover#shade intolerance#native#perennials#dry soils tolerant#fall color red#fall color purple#native edible
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Burgundy'
    Excellent red fall color.
  • 'Claret'
    Excellent red fall color.
  • 'Cumberland'
    High quality, large sweet fruit.
  • 'Fundy'
    High quality, large sweet fruit.
  • 'Jonesboro'
    Excellent red fall color.
  • 'North Country'
    2' tall, sweet, mild fruit, red fall color.
  • 'Northsky'
    18", small, flavorful fruit.
  • 'Pretty Yellow'
    Under 12" tall, yellowish fall color.
  • 'Spring'
    Under 12" tall, yellowish fall color.
  • 'Tophat'
    2' tall, container, bears fruit without a pollinator.
  • 'Verde'
    Under 12" tall, yellowish fall color.
'Burgundy', 'Claret', 'Cumberland', 'Fundy', 'Jonesboro', 'North Country', 'Northsky', 'Pretty Yellow', 'Spring', 'Tophat', 'Verde'
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#shrub#showy#small shrub#deciduous shrub#native shrub#woody#NC native#glossy leaves#groundcover#shade intolerance#native#perennials#dry soils tolerant#fall color red#fall color purple#native edible
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vaccinium
    Species:
    angustifolium
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Northeastern North America, NC
    Distribution:
    CT, DE, IA, IL, IN, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VA, VT, WI, WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Native bees pollinate flowers. Berries are relished by birds and other wildlife. Butterflies are attracted to the blooms.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Buffer
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Highly edible berries are enjoyed fresh, cooked or frozen.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 2 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4b, 4a, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Green
    Pink
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Juicy and edible berries in the summer.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Urn
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The small white flowers are tinged with pink.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Porous foliage. Foliage turns from reddish-green in spring to a dark blue-green in the summer than to a maroon-purple in the all. Lighter, glaucous underside.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Green
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Bark Description:
    New growth is green while older growth is brown with exfoliating bark.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The multi-stemmed, twiggy branches may turn red in winter.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Small Space
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees