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Vaccinium pallidum

Previously known as:

  • Vaccinium vacillans
Phonetic Spelling
vak-SIN-ee-um va-SIL-ans
Description

Lowbush Blueberry is a native deciduous shrub in the Ericaceae (blueberry) family and can be found in dry woodlands, clearings, and thickets. It grows to 2-3 feet tall and wide with a rounded form. It is a low maintenance and drought tolerant plant that has beautiful red to orange fall color.  It spreads through underground runners and can form clumps. This is a high-value wildlife plant as the berries are eaten by many and the shrub is a host plant. 

The shrub easily hybridizes with other blueberry plants so the leaves, flowers and fruit may vary in size and shape.

Lowbush Blueberry can be used as an ornamental shrub in the native garden or naturalized area. It is adaptable to soil types as long as they are well-drained and acidic and does best in full sun but tolerates shade.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: This plant will not survive in alkaline soils.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#black#deciduous#fall color#blue#wildlife plant#native shrub#low maintenance#fall interest#berries#hedges#small mammals#low water use#food source#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#edible fruits#naturalizes#edible garden#food source summer#fruits#bird friendly#butterfly friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#black#deciduous#fall color#blue#wildlife plant#native shrub#low maintenance#fall interest#berries#hedges#small mammals#low water use#food source#low flammability#NC native#fire resistant#edible fruits#naturalizes#edible garden#food source summer#fruits#bird friendly#butterfly friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vaccinium
    Species:
    pallidum
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Eastern and central North America
    Distribution:
    : AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV Canada: ON
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a host plant for the Brown Elfin butterfly. Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, small mammals, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys and black bear. 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.
    Edibility:
    The fruit of the Lowbush blueberry can be eaten raw or cooked. The flavor is sweet to bland.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    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
    Occasionally Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Black
    Blue
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    1/4 inch blue-black berry matures in mid-summer. The fruit is edible and sweet to the taste.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Urn
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    1/3 inch white bell-shaped flowers that form in tight hanging clusters occur late spring to early summer.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    1- 2.25-inch oval to ovate leaves are .5 to 1 inch across and medium to yellow-green. The undersides are pale green, sometimes glaucous, and may have hairs. Margins are entire but may have some serration near the apex. Fall color is oranges to reds.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Bark Description:
    The bark is smooth and green to green-red.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Stems are glabrous and yellowish-green with small warty dots. Older branches become woody and vary in color from red to yellowish-brown;
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Lawn
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Fire