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Farkleberry Vaccinium arboreum

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
vak-SIN-ee-um ar-BOR-ee-um
Description

Sparkleberry is a native spreading shrub to small tree with a crooked trunk, peeling gray to reddish brown shreddy bark and attractive red fall foliage. In the southern part of it's range it can be evergreen if protected from winter winds. The berries are not edible by humans but are showy into winter. 

Sparkleberry grows best in sun to partial shade and likes dry to moist sandy or rocky soil. It is drought and heat tolerant and a high-value wildlife plant.

Fire Risk: This plant has a medium flammability rating. 

   

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#birds#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#acidic soil#wildlife plant#native bees#winter interest#specialized bees#highly beneficial coastal plants#fire#medium flammability#pollinator plant#larval host plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#deciduous#fall color#birds#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#acidic soil#wildlife plant#native bees#winter interest#specialized bees#highly beneficial coastal plants#fire#medium flammability#pollinator plant#larval host plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vaccinium
    Species:
    arboreum
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    SE North America
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MO , MS , NC , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
    Fire Risk Rating:
    medium flammability
    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.  Members of the genus Vaccinium support the following specialized bees:Andrena (Conandrena) bradleyi, Andrena (Andrena) carolina, Panurginus atramontensis, Habropoda laboriosa, Colletes productus, Colletes validus, and Osmia (Melanosmia) virga.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Spreading
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    It has gritty non-juicy berries that last into the winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small white fragrant bell-shaped flowers form on racemes that occur singly or in clusters of 2-5 and are 2 inches long. Individual flowers are 1/4 inch long and wide. Blooms late spring to early summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Has leathery, glossy dark green leaves, 1-3 inches long and half as wide. The lower leaf surface is pale green and glabrous to finely pubescent. The leaves show red to crimson fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Shredding
    Bark Description:
    Bark exfoliates and is composed of grays, rich browns, oranges, and reddish-browns.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Branches and older twigs are gray and relatively smooth. Young twigs are reddish-brown
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Dry Soil