Bogs and Acidic Peatlands of Southern New England by Marsha C. Salett
Taxonomy
Vaccinium corymbosum L.
ERICACEAE (Heath Family)
EtymologyVaccinium is the ancient Latin name for bilberry; corymbosum means having flowers in corymbs, inflorescences that are flat-topped or round-topped racemes with the lower pedicels longer than the upper ones.
Synonyms (Common Name)Swamp Blueberry
DescriptionHighbush blueberry is a crown-forming, deciduous, ericaceous shrub that usually grows 6-10' tall, but may reach heights to 15-20 feet. Older branches are brown and gnarled, often with split bark; younger branches are reddish or greenish or both, and are covered with tiny, warty dots. Edible and delicious, blueberries are one of three native N.E. fruits that are commercially cultivated. The others are large cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) and Concord grape (Vitis labruscacultivars).
Wetland indicator statusFACW-
Plant Heightusuall 6-10 feet; sometimes 15-20 feet
LeavesDeciduous, alternate, simple, entire (sometimes with fine teeth), 1 1/5 -- 3 1/5" long ; elliptical to egg-shaped, pointed at tip and often at base; underside is pale green or whitish, hairy, especially on the veins; red or bronze in autumn.
Flower/InflorescenceWhite or tinged with pink, small (1/4"), urn-shaped; in dense lateral and terminal clusters; bloom before leaves are half open.
Flowering PeriodApril-July
FruitBerry, small (1/4-1/2"), dark blue, with many tiny seeds; very sweet and juicy.
Fruiting PeriodJune-August.
HabitatMoist forests (sometimes upland forests), forested wetlands, shrub swamps, bogs.
RangeNova Scotia to Wisconsin, south to Florida and Texas.
(c) 1998-2006 Marsha C. Salett