Blueberry, Northern Highbush
Deciduous, Edible fruit, Shrubs
Native to eastern North America; for ornamental species, see Vaccinium.
Most blueberries grown for fruit are also handsome shrubs suitable for hedges or shrub borders. Leaves, to 3 in. long, are bronze when new, maturing to dark green, turning scarlet or yellow in fall. Tiny, urn-shaped spring flowers are white or pinkish. Summer fruit is decorative.
Blueberries thrive under conditions that suit rhododendrons and azaleas, to which they are related. They need cool, moist, well-drained acid soil (pH 4.5–5.5). Where soil isn’t acidic enough, either create proper conditions in garden soil or grow in containers filled with acidic potting mix.
For more information about how to grow blueberries, go to How to Choose and Grow Blueberries.
Native from Maine to Florida, east to Louisiana. Selections of Vaccinium corymbosum, these are the blueberries found in grocery stores. Most varieties grow upright to 6 ft. or more; a few are rather sprawling and under 5 ft. The majority are northern varieties: they require definite winter cold and ripen fruit from late spring to late summer.
‘Berkeley’. Midseason. Open, spreading, tall. Large, light blue berries.
‘Bluecrop’. Midseason. Erect, tall growth. Large berries. Excellent flavor. Attractive shrub.
‘Blueray’. Midseason. Vigorous, tall. Large, highly flavored, crisp berries. Attractive shrub. Tolerates more heat than ‘Bluecrop’.
‘Chandler’. Midseason to late. Tall, upright. Very large, sweet berries produced over a long season.
‘Darrow’. Late. Vigorous, upright. Very large fruit, up to the size of a quarter. Heavy producer.
‘Earliblue’. Early. Tall, erect. Large, heavy leaves. Large berries of excellent flavor.
‘Elliott’. Late. Tall, upright. Medium to large berries of excellent flavor.
‘Ivanhoe’. Early to midseason. Large, dark berries are firm, crisp, tart.
‘Legacy’. Late. Unusual shrub that doesn’t lose its leaves in winter. Will color in cold winters, but stays mostly green in mild areas. Upright, arching. Medium-size berries with fine flavor.
‘Olympia’. Midseason. Medium-size fruit with exceptional, spicy flavor. Large, vigorous, arching bush with great fall color.
‘Rubel’. Early to late. Erect, tall growth. Small, firm, tart berries.
‘Spartan’. Early. Heavy bearer of large, flavorful fruit.
‘Tophat’. Midseason. Dwarf hybrid that stays under 1 1/2 ft.; good for pots. Small fruit with mild flavor.
‘Toro’. Midseason. Compact plant with pinkish blooms. Large, firm berries with an excellent, sprightly flavor.
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