Vaccinium corymbosum

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Vaccinium corymbosum
Northern Highbush Blueberry
Vaccinium corymbosum(01).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Vaccinium
Species: V. corymbosum
Binomial name
Vaccinium corymbosum
L.

Vaccinium corymbosum, the northern highbush blueberry, is a species of blueberry native to eastern North America, from the Great Lakes region east to Nova Scotia, and south through the Northeastern United States and Appalachian region, to the Southeastern United States in Mississippi.[1][2] Other common names include blue huckleberry, tall huckleberry, swamp huckleberry, high blueberry, and swamp blueberry.[3]

Description[edit]

Vaccinium corymbosum is a deciduous shrub growing to 6–12 feet (1.8–3.7 m) tall and wide. It is often found in dense thickets. The dark glossy green leaves are elliptical and up to 5 centimetres (2.0 in) long. In autumn, the leaves turn to a brilliant red, orange, yellow, and/or purple.[2]

The flowers are long bell or urn-shaped white to very light pink, 0.33 inches (8.4 mm) long.[2]

The fruit is a 0.25–0.5 inches (6.4–12.7 mm) diameter blue-black berry.[2] This plant is found in wooded or open areas with moist acidic soils.[4]

Cultivation[edit]

These berries were collected and used in Native American cuisine in areas where V. corymbosum grew as a native plant.[5] This plant is also the most common commercially grown blueberry in present day North America.

It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant for home and wildlife gardens and natural landscaping projects.[4][6] The pH must be very acidic (4.5 to 5.5).[2] In natural habitats it is a food source for native and migrating birds, bears, and small mammals.

Outside of its natural range in North America, Vaccinium corymbosum has naturalized in British Columbia and the U.S. state of Washington.[7] On other continents it has naturalized in Japan, New Zealand, Great Britain, Lithuania, and the Netherlands.[7]

Cultivars[edit]

Some common cultivar varieties are listed here, grouped by approximate start of the harvest season:[8]

Early
  • Duke
  • Patriot      
  • Reka
  • Spartan
Mid-Season
  • Bluecrop      
  • Blu-ray
  • KaBluey
  • Northland
Late
  • Aurora
  • Darrow
  • Elliott
  • Jersey

The cultivars Duke[9] and Spartan[10] have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Southern highbush blueberry[edit]

Some named southern highbush blueberries are hybridized forms derived from crosses between V. corymbosum and Vaccinium darrowii, a native of the Southeastern U.S. These hybrids and other cultivars of V. darrowii (Southern highbush blueberry) have been developed for cultivation in warm southern and western regions of North America.[11][12]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]