Low Bush Blueberry

Low_Bush_Blueberry_jpgThis family (Ericaceae) commonly called the Heath family consists of 103 genera and 3,350 species of shrubs, lianas, and small trees; found in temperate, cool and subtropical regions and in tropical mountains.  Twenty-five to 35 species are native to the United States.  Members of this family are of great horticultural and gastronomic interest, including Rhododendron, Azaleas, Heathers and Cranberries, Blueberries and Bilberries.  The family name “Heath” is from the Greek eike,and the Latin Erica. The Low Bush Blueberry, like other Blueberries, is edible as a fresh fruit or dried fruit or made into jelly or jam.  It can also be used to add flavor to pastry. Like many other members of the Heath Family, Blueberries prefer acid soil.  They are found most commonly in open woods or in clearings. Blueberries are important to American wildlife. The fruit is eaten by several species of birds, small mammals, and hooved browsers. For severas species of grouse, blueberries are among the most important summer and early fall foods. they are also important to the scarlet tanager, bluebirds, and other songbirds. Deer and rabbits browse freely on the plants.

OtherCommonName:

Upland Low Blueberry

ScientificName:

Vaccium pallidum

Community:

Thicket

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Woody Shrub

PlantHeight:

1 to 4 feet

FruitingTime:

June and July

Distribution:

Maine to Georgia ~ Mostly in Morris and Somerset counties in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

April

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Leaves sharply serrate, firm texture, conspicuous veins, green, hairless, dark red in the fall ~ Berry blue or black, dull to shinny ~ Flower bell shaped, pink to white, borne in clusters ~ Twigs green in summer, red on upper surface in winter and green underside.