|Leaves and immature fruit|
Vaccinium arboreum (sparkleberry or farkleberry) is a species of Vaccinium native to the southeastern and south-central United States, from southern Virginia west to southeastern Nebraska, south to Florida and eastern Texas, and north to Illinois.
Vaccinium arboreum is a shrub (rarely a small tree) growing to 3–5 m (7.5-12.5 feet) rarely 9 m) (22.5 feet) tall, with a diameter at breast height of up to 35 cm (14 inches). The leaves are evergreen in the south of the range, but deciduous further north where winters are colder; they are oval-elliptic with an acute apex, 3–7 cm long and 2–4 cm broad, with a smooth or very finely toothed margin. Sparkleberry grows on sand dunes, hammocks, dry hillsides, meadows, and in rocky woods. It also grows on a variety of moist sites such as wet bottomlands and along creek banks.
The flowers are white, bell-shaped, and 3–4 mm (0.12-0.16 inches) in diameter with a five-lobed corolla, produced in racemes up to 5 cm (2 inches) long. The fruit is a round dry berry about 6 mm (0.16 inches) in diameter, green at first, black when ripe, edible but bitter and tough.
- Germplasm Resources Information Network: Vaccinium arboreum
- Missouri Plants: Vaccinium arboreum
- Virginia Tech Dendrology: Vaccinium arboreum
- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Profile of Vaccinium arboreum
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