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Vaccinium corymbosum

Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Vaccinium ashei
Phonetic Spelling
vak-SIN-ee-um coh-rim-BOH-sum
Description

Highbush blueberry is in the Ericaceae family. It can grow 8-15 feet. It is an upright multistemed, slow growing deciduous shrub with brilliant fall foliage. It is planted for its delicious edible fruit. Although blueberries are self-fertile, planting multiples that bloom at the same time will lead to larger berries and a higher yeild. Extend your harvest by planting early, mid, and late season blueberry varieties which will make the fruit season run from June to mid-September.  When planting and the year after, remove all flowers so the shrub can focus on root and shoot growth. The third year after planting you can prune in the late winter to remove dead wood and maintain the shape of the shrub. Blueberries require a lower soil pH than many other small fruit crops and other plants. Therefore, consider grouping them with other acid-loving plants such as holliesazaelasrhododendrons, and camellias. Before planting, take a soil test. The ideal pH for blueberries is between 4.0 and 5.0 or 5.5, depending on the cultivar. Little annual attention is required, except for occasional pruning.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Insects Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  Spotted wing drosophila may attack the fruit. Potential but infrequent disease problems include stem blight, root rot, anthracnose, cane cankers, mildew and botrytis. Mummy berry is a fungal disease that causes the berries to shrivel and drop. Birds relish the fruit, so cover shrubs with netting as the fruit ripens. These plants are frequently damaged by deer. If the soil pH is too high it will cause chlorosis (yellowing of leaves). 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Legacy'
  • 'O'Neal'
  • 'Sampson'
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#fruit#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#songbirds#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native shrub#native bees#host plant#playground#showy fruits#hedges#mammals#specialized bees#food source#low flammability#NC native#screens#fire resistant#pollinator plant#childrens garden#edible garden#food source summer#butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Legacy'
  • 'O'Neal'
  • 'Sampson'
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#fruit#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#songbirds#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native shrub#native bees#host plant#playground#showy fruits#hedges#mammals#specialized bees#food source#low flammability#NC native#screens#fire resistant#pollinator plant#childrens garden#edible garden#food source summer#butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vaccinium
    Species:
    corymbosum
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern North America
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MI , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: NB , NS , ON , QC
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Flowers attract butterflies and bees. It is a host plant for the Brown Elfin butterfly. Its fruit attracts songbirds, small mammals, ruffed grouse, wild turkey, black bears and squirrels. 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.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    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:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Blue
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    blue to purple small round fruits
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small pink or white bell-shaped flowers that mature in clusters
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Reddish-green spring leaves turn blue-green in summer with lighter undersides. Excellent fall color with a mix of red, yellow, orange and purple.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    Old stems have gray-brown thinly furrowed bark
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    New shoots are glabrous with a yellow-green to reddish color in the winter.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Fire