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Vaccinium australe - Small

Common Name Northern Blueberry
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 2-7
Known Hazards None Known
Habitats Swamps, low wet woods, pine barrens and dry uplands[43].
Range Introduced in Europe (Britain, The Netherlands), Asia (Japan), USA, Canada.
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (2 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Vaccinium australe Northern Blueberry


Vaccinium australe Northern Blueberry

 

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Summary

An excellent blueberry species with large fruit best suited to cooler climates. Leave the fruit on the shrub until the last minute, as the fruit is very acidic and will not ripen after being picked. When ripe they make an excellent berry for cooking or eating fresh.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Vaccinium australe is a deciduous Shrub growing to 1.5 m (5ft) by 1.5 m (5ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. The flowers are pollinated by Bees. The plant is not self-fertile.
It is noted for attracting wildlife.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils. Suitable pH: acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. It cannot tolerate atmospheric pollution.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

No synonyms are recorded for this name.

Habitats

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[2, 3, 43, 62, 161]. It is usually sweet and juicy, though the flavour can be variable[11]. It can be used in pies, pastries, cereals, jellies etc[183]. The fruit can also be dried and used like raisins[183]. The fruit is rich in vitamin C[201]. The fruit is about 15mm in diameter[200]. A tea is made from the leaves and dried fruit[101].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


Astringent, pectoral[201].

References

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Other Uses

A good bee plant. Acid soil. A purple dye can be made from the fruit and leaves. Landscape Uses: Border, Massing, Seashore. Special Features: Attracts birds & butterflies. Attractive flowers or blooms. Edible, wetlands plant.

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Blueberries: In warmer areas grow Southern Highbush and Rabbiteye (low chill) varieties while in cooler areas and areas that experience frost grow Northern Highbush (high chill) varieties. Requires a moist but freely-draining lime free soil, preferring one that is rich in peat or a light loamy soil with added leaf-mould[11, 200]. Prefers a very acid soil with a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6, plants soon become chlorotic when lime is present. Succeeds in full sun or light shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[200]. Requires shelter from strong winds[200]. Hardy to about -25?c[184]. Often cultivated for its edible fruit in America[183]. It usually blossoms freely in Britain[11]. Plants are at least partially self-sterile, more than one variety is required in order to obtain good yields of fruit[182]. Dislikes root disturbance, plants are best grown in pots until being planted out in their permanent positions[200]. leave the fruit on the shrub until the last minute, as the fruit is very acidic and will not ripen after being picked. Does not grow well with blackberries or raspberries[201]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. The plant is heat tolerant in zones 7 through 1. (Plant Hardiness Zones show how well plants withstand cold winter temperatures. Plant Heat Zones show when plants would start suffering from the heat. The Plant Heat Zone map is based on the number of "heat days" experienced in a given area where the temperature climbs to over 86 degrees F (30?C). At this temperature, many plants begin to suffer physiological damage. Heat Zones range from 1 (no heat days) to 12 (210 or more heat days). For example Heat Zone. 11-1 indicates that the plant is heat tolerant in zones 11 through 1.) For polyculture design as well as the above-ground architecture (form - tree, shrub etc. and size shown above) information on the habit and root pattern is also useful and given here if available. The plant growth habit is multistemmed with multiple stems from the crown [1-2]. The root pattern is flat with shallow roots forming a plate near the soil surface [1-2]. The root pattern is stoloniferous rooting from creeping stems above the ground [1-2].

References

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - sow late winter in a greenhouse in a lime-free potting mix and only just cover the seed[78]. Stored seed might require a period of up to 3 months cold stratification[113]. Another report says that it is best to sow the seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe[200]. Once they are about 5cm tall, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of greenwood, May/June in a shady position in a compost that contains some peat[113]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August in a frame[78]. Slow and difficult. Cuttings of mature wood, harvested in November and stored in a fridge then planted in a frame in March. Layering in late summer or early autumn[78]. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer[200]. Takes 18 months[78]. Division of suckers in spring or early autumn[113].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

South Eastern Highbush blueberry, High-bush blueberry, Bleuet en corymbe

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Europe (Britain, The Netherlands), Asia (Japan), USA, Canada.

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

None Known

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status : Not listed

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Vaccinium bracteatumSea BilberryShrub1.0 6-9  LMSNM11 
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Vaccinium cylindraceum Shrub3.0 9-11  LMSNM20 
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Vaccinium deliciosumAlpine Blueberry, Cascade bilberryShrub0.3 5-9  LMSNM300
Vaccinium duclouxii Shrub3.0 8-11  LMSNM30 
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Vaccinium erythrocarpumSouthern Mountain CranberryShrub1.5 5-9  LMSNM300
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Vaccinium hirsutumHairy HuckleberryShrub0.0 5-9  LMSNM30 
Vaccinium hirtum Shrub1.0 5-9  LMSNM10 
Vaccinium japonicum Shrub0.7 5-9  LMSNM20 
Vaccinium koreanum Shrub0.0 -  LMSNM10 
Vaccinium leucanthum Shrub0.0 -  LMSNM10 
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Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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