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Environmental Studies

Vaccinium corymbosum (Highbush Blueberry) Ericaceae

 
Description:
  • The Highbush blueberry is a slow-growing, multi-stemmed, occasionally monoecious, deciduous, shrub that grows 6 to 12 feet tall. 
  • Its is best known for its fruit.
  • It usually has simple, green leaves which are one to two inches long and turn bright red in the fall.
  • It does not like shade.
Leaves:
  • Deciduous, alternate, simple, elliptic or ovate

  • 1 to 3½ inches long

  • Slightly waxy
  • Hairs can be found on the veins beneath.
Flowers:
  • Most often white, but can sometimes be pinkish
  • Contain a cluster of flowers with 5 to 12 flowers in a cluster
  • Flowering occurs February to June

  • Small, urn shaped flowers
  • Have both male and female parts in a single flower
  • Pollination occurs primarily by bees
  • Flowering occurs February to June

Fruit:
  • Fruiting occurs April to October.
  • Fruits are ¼ - ½” blue-black berries with many seeds.
  • A favorite of many humans and animals 

Ecological Characteristics:
  • Widespread in eastern North America, also found in the South and parts of the Northwest (i.e. image below)
  • Most common native habitat is in moist or wet peat of moderate to high acidity — such as marshes, swamps, lakes and flood-prone areas
  • Also found in drier areas — such as dunes and barrier beaches, rocky hillsides, oak woods, and pinewoods 

 
 
 
References

http://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_vaco.pdf

http://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=VACO&mapType=nativity

http://www.abnativeplants.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/plants.plantDetail/plant_id/30/index.htm

http://msue.anr.msu.edu/uploads/images/4-10BlueberryBeeRUFUS.jpg

Page drafted by Kate Fridholm