Vaccinium corymbosum ([Northern] Highbush Blueberry)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

Due to widespread hybridization, this species distribution in Virginia has been difficult to map. It occurs frequently in the southern mountains and is found in Arlington and Fairfax counties but is infrequent to rare elsewhere. White to pink-blushed bell-shaped flowers nod in clusters on bare stems in spring before the deep green foliage unfurls. In full sun this shrub yields the best blueberries and autumn color.

Print Version (Legal Size):  Vaccinium corymbosum ([Northern] Highbush Blueberry)

Vaccinium corymbosum, (Northern) Highbush Blueberry Shrub Height: 6–12 feet Spread: 4–10 feet Bloom Color: White or pink-tinged Characteristics Upright, broad-spreading, deciduous shrub Deep green, glossy, oval foliage Bell-shaped flowers bloom from April to June Edible waxy, blue-black berries that contain many tiny seeds; spreads by reseeding Brilliant red-to-burgundy autumn color Attributes No serious pests or diseases; deer and rabbits occasionally severely damage (esp. in winter) Reddish stems can be attractive in winter Excellent ornamental value Attracts bees; larval host to various Lepidoptera; many animals eat the berries but esp. birds so cover with netting to protect as crop ripens Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Rich, well-drained, acidic Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Moist, Wet Although self-fertile, for best crop yield plant more than one variety with synchronous bloom In the planting year and the following year, remove flowers to promote growth; starting third year after planting, prune as needed in late winter Use in shrub border, native plant garden, or as hedge Hardiness: USDA Zones 5–8 Excellent Replacement for Berberis thunbergii - Japanese Barberry Euonymus alatus - Burning Bush

Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets