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Vaccinium corymbosum - L.

Common Name High-Bush Blueberry, American Blueberry, Swamp Blueberry, Blueberry
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 3-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Swamps, low wet woods, pine barrens and dry uplands[43].
Range Eastern N. America - Nova Scotia to Quebec and south to Florida..
Edibility Rating    (4 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Vaccinium corymbosum High-Bush Blueberry, American Blueberry, Swamp Blueberry, Blueberry


©Jeff McMillian. USDA Plant Database
Vaccinium corymbosum High-Bush Blueberry, American Blueberry, Swamp Blueberry, Blueberry
Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 2: 700. Courtesy of Kentucky

 

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Summary

An excellent blueberry species with large fruit and good autumn foliage 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. Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early spring, Late spring, Mid spring. Form: Rounded.


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Vaccinium corymbosum is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2 m (6ft) by 2 m (6ft) at a medium rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 2. It is in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen in August. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees. The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. 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.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit  Leaves
Edible Uses: Tea

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].

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

Astringent, pectoral[201].

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

Food Forest

Cultivation details

Landscape Uses: Border, Massing, Seashore. 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 is the most common and successful blueberry to be cultivated in Britain[11]. There are many named varieties[183]. A very variable plant, 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]. Closely related to V. atrococcum and V. virgatum[182]. Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[200]. Special Features:Attracts birds, North American native, Edible, Wetlands plant, Attracts butterflies, Attractive flowers or blooms. 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].

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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

Blue rose tree, Bluerose

Found In

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

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.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

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Vaccinium leucanthum Shrub0.0 -  LMSNM10 
Vaccinium macrocarponAmerican Cranberry, CranberryShrub0.2 0-0 MLMSNMWe314
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Expert comment

Author

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Botanical References

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Links / References

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Readers comment

Ian Brown   Sun Nov 15 2009

The most relevant book I know on V. Corymbosum and relatives is Blueberries, Cranberries and Other Vacciniums by Jennifer Trehane, RHS,2004 All the info relates to UK growing conditions. It is reliable, well judged and accurate. Research up to the date of this book indicated a wide range of health benefits. Propagation info http://www.blueberries.msu.edu/pdf/PropogatingHBberries.pdf and wide technical info from a couple of american university web sites is very good http://www.blueberries.msu.edu/

Blueberry Facts [University of Michigan] Blueberry Facts.

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