Highbush Blueberry

Highbush_Blueberry_jpgThe Highbush Blueberry is of major economic importance to New Jersey and was first cultivated in 1916 at Elizabeth White’s farm at Whitesbog, Burlington County.  Today there are approximately 40,000 acres of cultivated blueberries in Burlington County and New Jersey produces nearly 40 million pounds of Highbush Blueberries, second only to Michigan. Blueberries grow in clusters with berries at the bottom ripening before the ones at the top.  The harvest is done by machine. The U.S. Department of Agriculture survey of antioxidants in 40 fruits and vegetables placed blueberries at the top.  The berries are reported to reduce heart disease, improve night vision and serve as a laxative.

OtherCommonName:

ScientificName:

Vaccinium corymbosum

Community:

Thicket

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Perennial

PlantHeight:

2 to 9 feet

FruitingTime:

June - Late August

Distribution:

Nova Scotia to Florida and west to Michigan, Oklahoma and Texas ~ Coastal plains to mountains

FloweringTime:

May- June

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Leaves elliptic, short-stalked, toothless or minutely toothed, few hairs to hairless ~ Twigs slender, greenish or reddish often zigzag ~ Flowers bell-like, greenish white or pink ~ Berries with 5 calyx lobes forming a star pattern at the base, blue or black