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Creeping Blueberry Vaccinium crassifolium

Phonetic Spelling
vak-SIN-ee-um krass-ih-FOH-lee-um
Description

Creeping Blueberry is an evergreen shrub in the Ericaceae family native to only 4 states in the southeastern US. It can form a dense mat for an effective groundcover with 4 season interest. It prefers acidic well-drained sandy to loam soils. It grows naturally in the savannas, pine flatwoods, and sandy areas. Clusters of pinkish, bell-shaped flowers appear along the stems in April. Bueberries form in the summer and are edible.

 

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:
  • 'Bloodstone'
    very low growing, to 5-8 inches high, indefinitely spreading, dark green, somewhat glossy, reddish in winter.
  • 'Well's Delight'
'Bloodstone', 'Well's Delight'
Tags:
#bees#evergreen#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#specialized bees#NC native#groundcover#edible fruits#native groundcover#pollinator plant#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#audubon
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Bloodstone'
    very low growing, to 5-8 inches high, indefinitely spreading, dark green, somewhat glossy, reddish in winter.
  • 'Well's Delight'
'Bloodstone', 'Well's Delight'
Tags:
#bees#evergreen#drought tolerant#wildlife plant#nectar plant#native bees#specialized bees#NC native#groundcover#edible fruits#native groundcover#pollinator plant#food source herbage#food source nectar#food source pollen#coastal FAC#Piedmont Mountains FAC#bird friendly#mammals#food source soft mast fruit#butterfly friendly#audubon
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vaccinium
    Species:
    crassifolium
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    VA, NC, SC, GA
    Wildlife Value:
    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. Birds and mammals are attracted to the berries.
    Edibility:
    Blueberries are edible
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 10 in. - 1 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 2 ft. 0 in. - 3 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Ground Cover
    Native Plant
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Creeping
    Horizontal
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • 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:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Purple/Lavender
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small purple-black round fruits that appear from June to July.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Urn
    Flower Petals:
    fused petals
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Small clusters of rosy red and white bell-shaped flowers in spring (April-May).
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1/2 inch glossy dark green to bronze leaves
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Bark Description:
    Brown and exfoliating.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Reddish-brown stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought