Vaccinium crassifolium

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Vaccinium crassifolium
Vaccinium crassifolium.jpg
United States Botanic Garden's
National Garden, Washington
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Vaccinium
Species: V. crassifolium
Binomial name
Vaccinium crassifolium
  • Herpothamnus crassifolius (Andrews) Small
  • Vaccinium crassifolium subsp. sempervirens (D.A.Rayner & J. Henderson) W.B.Kirkman & Ballington
  • Vaccinium sempervirens D.A.Rayner & J.Henderson

Vaccinium crassifolium, the creeping blueberry, is a species of Vaccinium in the heath family. It is native to the four southeastern U.S. states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. It is an evergreen shrub with shiny dark green to bronze leaves.


Vaccinium crassifolium is native to the coastal plain of Georgia, the Carolinas, and southeastern Virginia, especially in pine barrens but also in disturbed settings like roadsides and other open areas.[1][2][3]


Vaccinium crassifolium is the only species in Vaccinium sect. Herpothamnus. Some sources have recognized a second species, V. sempervirens, but recent authors combine the two into a single species.[1][4] Creeping blueberries, although they are native to North America, do not seem to be most closely related to North American blueberries, but instead to South American Vaccinium species.[4]



The leaves resemble bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), and may be used in herbalism in its place.[5]


Vaccinium crassifolium has been cultivated since at least about 1787,[4] and several cultivars are available for planting as a ground cover in landscaping gardens.[6]


  1. ^ a b c 15. Vaccinium crassifolium Andrews, Flora of North America
  2. ^ Creeping Blueberry, USDA, NRCS. 2006. The PLANTS Database (, consulted 2006-12-18). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
  3. ^ Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
  4. ^ a b c Kirkman, W. B. & J. R. Ballington (Oct–Dec 1990), "Creeping blueberries (Ericaceae: Vaccinium sect. Herpothamnus) - a new look at Vaccinium crassifolium including V. sempervirens", Systematic Botany, 15 (4): 679–699, doi:10.2307/2419164
  5. ^ 416. Vaccinium crassifolium, A Manual of Organic Materia Medica and Pharmacognosy, by Lucius E. Sayre, B.S. Ph. M., 1917.
  6. ^ MacKenzie, David, S. Perennial Ground Covers. p. 309. ISBN 0-88192-557-8.

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