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Vaccinium stamineum

Phonetic Spelling
vak-SIN-ee-um sta-MIN-ee-um
Description

Deerberry is a deciduous shrub that may grow 5 to 15 feet in height. The leaves are alternate with a smooth margin and fuzzy underside. The bark is gray-brown to reddish-brown and very shreddy. In spring, small, white, bell-shaped flowers mature. The shrub produces a purplish-black berry that matures in late summer or fall.

It is best grown in acidic, organically rich, sandy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. It may spread by underground runners to form clumps. Established plants have good drought tolerance.

Deer reportedly eat the ripe fruit off the shrub hence the common name of deerberry.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Insects, Diseases, or Other Plant Problems:  Chlorosis (yellowing of leaves) may occur in high pH soils. Potential but infrequent disease problems include stem blight, root rot, anthracnose, cane cankers, mildew and botrytis. Disease problems are sometimes of lesser concern when plants are being primarily grown as ornamentals. Watch for azalea stem borer, fall webworm, scale, and tent caterpillars.

Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#fruit#deciduous#fall color#birds#songbirds#acidic soil#wildlife plant#native shrub#low maintenance#host plant#fall interest#berries#hedges#mammals#low water use#food source#low flammability#NC native#part shade#fire resistant#naturalizes#food source fall#butterfly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#bees#butterflies#fruit#deciduous#fall color#birds#songbirds#acidic soil#wildlife plant#native shrub#low maintenance#host plant#fall interest#berries#hedges#mammals#low water use#food source#low flammability#NC native#part shade#fire resistant#naturalizes#food source fall#butterfly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Vaccinium
    Species:
    stamineum
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada to Mexico
    Distribution:
    AL , AR , CT , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KS , KY , LA , MA , MD , ME , MO , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , TN , TX , VA , VT , WV
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    It is a host plant for the Brown Elfin butterfly. Adult butterflies nectar from the blooms. Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, small mammals, ruffed grouse, wild turkeys and black bears. 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:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
    Edibility:
    Berries are edible but sour
    Dimensions:
    Height: 5 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • 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, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Pale yellow to green to purple pear-shaped berries (each to 1/2” diameter) in loose dangling clusters. Its sour fruit is largely inedible for humans unless sweetened. The fruits ripen from late summer to early fall.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    1/4 inch broad, open bell-shaped, greenish-white flowers (sometimes pink-tinged) in leafy-bracted panicles bloom April-early June.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are up to 3” long and 1 1/4” wide and are rich green to glaucous blue-green. The leaves which have a fuzzy underside turn a red to maroon-purple fall color.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Red/Burgundy
    Bark Description:
    The bark is gray-brown to reddish-brown and very shreddy.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Form:
    Zig Zags
    Stem Description:
    Slender, zigzagged stems are green and red turning light brown; buds small and pointed.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Specialized Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Fire