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. Other common names include blue huckleberry, tall huckleberry, swamp huckleberry, high blueberry, and swamp blueberry.
|Northern highbush blueberry|
Vaccinium corymbosum is a deciduous shrub growing to 6–12 feet (1.8–3.7 m) tall and wide. It is often found in dense thickets. The dark glossy green leaves are elliptical and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. In autumn, the leaves turn to a brilliant red, orange, yellow, and/or purple.
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. V. corymbosum, being one of the species likely used by these peoples, was later studied and domesticated in 1908 by Frederick Vernon Coville.
In natural habitats it is a food source for native and migrating birds, bears, and small mammals.
Vaccinium corymbosum is the most common commercially grown blueberry in present-day North America.
Southern highbush blueberryEdit
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.
- The Plant List, Vaccinium corymbosum L.
- Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
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- eXtension: Southern Highbush Blueberry Varieties
- Four Winds Growers: Care of southern highbush blueberries
- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Profile for Vaccinium corymbosum (highbush blueberry)
- Species account and photographs from Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center Native Plant Information Network (NPIN)
- Gardenersite.com: Vaccinium corymbosum cultivar 'Reka'
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