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Vaccinium corymbosum

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Vaccinium corymbosum, the northern highbush blueberry, is a North American species of blueberry which has become a food crop of significant economic importance. It is native to eastern Canada and the eastern and southern United States, from Ontario east to Nova Scotia and south as far as Florida and eastern Texas. It is also naturalized in other places: Europe, Japan, New Zealand, the Pacific Northwest of North America, etc.<ref>Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map</ref><ref>Taxonomic account from Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) — for Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)</ref><ref name="uconn">Vaccinium corymbosum. accessed 3.23.2013</ref><ref name="grin">Template:GRIN</ref> Other common names include blue huckleberry, tall huckleberry, swamp huckleberry, high blueberry, and swamp blueberry.<ref>Template:Cite book</ref>

Description

Vaccinium corymbosum is a deciduous shrub growing to Template:Convert tall and wide. It is often found in dense thickets. The dark glossy green leaves are elliptical and up to Template:Convert long. In autumn, the leaves turn to a brilliant red, orange, yellow, and/or purple.<ref name="uconn"/><ref name=pancakes>Flora of North America, Vaccinium corymbosum Linnaeus, 1753. High-bush blueberry, bleuet en corymbe </ref>

The flowers are long bell- or urn-shaped white to very light pink, Template:Convert long.<ref name="uconn"/><ref name=pancakes/>

The fruit is a Template:Convert diameter blue-black berry.<ref name="uconn"/> This plant is found in wooded or open areas with moist acidic soils.<ref name=pancakes/><ref name="kemper">Missouri Botanical Garden: Kemper Center for Home Gardening — Vaccinium corymbosum . accessed 3.23.2013</ref>

The species is tetraploid and does not self-pollinate.<ref name=Volume21>Template:Cite book</ref> Most cultivars have a chilling requirement greater than 800 hours.

History

Template:Further Many wild species of Vaccinium are thought to have been cultivated by Native Americans for thousands of years, with intentional crop burnings in northeastern areas being apparent from archeological evidence.<ref name=Volume21 /> V. corymbosum, being one of the species likely used by these peoples, was later studied and domesticated in 1908 by Frederick Vernon Coville.

Uses

In natural habitats it is a food source for native and migrating birds, bears, and small mammals.

The berries were collected and used in Native American cuisine in areas where Vaccinium corymbosum grew as a native plant.<ref>University of Michigan at Dearborn — Native American Ethnobotany of Vaccinium corymbosum . accessed 9.9.2015</ref>

Cultivation

Vaccinium corymbosum is the most common commercially grown blueberry in present-day North America.

It is also cultivated as an ornamental plant for home and wildlife gardens and natural landscaping projects.<ref name="kemper"/><ref>Hort.uconn.edu: Vaccinium corymbosum; Landscape use section Template:Webarchive . accessed 3.23.2013</ref> The pH must be very acidic (4.5 to 5.5).<ref name="uconn"/>

Cultivars

Some common cultivar varieties are listed here, grouped by approximate start of the harvest season:<ref>Hort.uconn.edu: Vaccinium corymbosum; Cultivars/varieties section Template:Webarchive . accessed 3.23.2013</ref>

Early
  • Duke
  • Patriot      
  • Reka
  • Spartan
Mid-Season
  • Bluecrop      
  • Blu-ray
  • KaBluey
  • Northland
Late

The cultivars Duke<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> and Spartan<ref>Template:Cite web</ref> have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Southern highbush blueberry

Some named Southern highbush blueberry are hybridized forms derived from crosses between V. corymbosum and Vaccinium darrowii, a native of the Southeastern U.S. These hybrids and other cultivars of V. darrowii (Southern highbush blueberry) have been developed for cultivation in warm southern and western regions of North America.<ref>eXtension: Southern Highbush Blueberry Varieties</ref><ref>Four Winds Growers: Care of southern highbush blueberries</ref>

Gallery

See also

References

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External links

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