Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade, shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist
Soil Description: rich, loam, sand
Bloom Time: February, March, April, May
Bloom Color: white, pink
Leaf Color: green
Hardiness Zone: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Additional Tags: attracts bees, attracts birds, berries, bog plant, edible, fall interest, hedging plant, showy fruit, swamp plant
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Vaccinium corymbosumAlso known as:
northern highbush blueberry,
southeastern highbush blueberry,
Maryland highbush blueberry,
black highbush blueberry,
New Jersey blueberry,
Cyanococcus corymbosus, Cyanococcus cuthbertii, Vaccinium constablaei
Though best known for its fruit production, Vaccinium corymbosum is a deciduous shrub that will provide year round visual interest. It is the tallest member of the genus and can grow up to 12' tall, which explains the common name highbush blueberry. The waxy, ovate leaves are reddish as they unfurl, become deep green at maturity, then turning to shades of orange, red and purple in fall. In late winter through early summer, it produces attractive terminal clusters of small, whitish to pink, urn-shaped flowers. The 1/4" to 1/2" blueberries will take 2 month to mature. The stems of this shrub are upright, compact, forming a round crown. In winter, the stems will turn red, providing good color for otherwise drab landscapes.
Vaccinium corymbosum is native to moist or wet environments, including bogs and swamps. It favors well drained, rich, acidic soils in full sun, but will also tolerate a fair amount of shade and dryer conditions. As a guideline, this blueberry will do well in similar environments as are required for azaleas and rhododendrons. It will benefit from a layer of mulch to maintain adequate soil moisture and acidity. Plants will resist occasional exposure to salt spray and occasional flooding with brackish water. Though not a requirement, cross pollination will yield better fruit production. Flowers should be removed from young plants for the first 2 years. This will encourage vegetative growth, and ultimately better fruit yield. Shrubs may be pruned to control their height and shape, or to create hedges. This should be done in late winter before new growth emerges. Flowering occurs as early February in its southern range, and persist through June. Zones 4-8
Propagate from seed, or by softwood cuttings in spring. Roots will occasionally produce suckers. These can be dug out with a portion of the root and transplanted.
Vaccinium corymbosum is an all around attractive shrub, with the added benefit of producing abundant, delectable fruit. In the wild, these constitute an important food source for a number of birds and mammals. Deer may consider the foliage a treat.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV
USDA Endangered Status:
- Endangered: IL
|Species||Vaccinium corymbosum||highbush blueberry|