NCBG North Carolina Botanical Garden

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Vaccinium fuscatum

Vaccinium fuscatum Aiton

black highbush blueberry, hairy highbush blueberry

Synonym(s): Cyanococcus atrococcus, Cyanococcus fuscatus, Cyanococcus virgatus
Vaccinium fuscatum (Black Highbush Blueberry)
image by Sorrie, Bruce A.
NCBG PLANT INDEX
ID_PLANT: VAFU
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Vaccinium fuscatum
GENUS: Vaccinium
FAMILY: ERICAC - Ericaceae (Heath Family)

NCBG DESCRIPTIVES
INTRO:
STEMS:
LEAVES:
INFLORESCENCE:
FLOWERS:
FRUITS:
COMMENTS:
HEIGHT: to 15 ft

DURATION: Perennial
HABIT: Shrub

LEAF ARRANGEMENT:
LEAF COMPLEXITY: Simple
LEAF RETENTION:

FLORAL
SYMMETRY:
BLOOM TIME: Feb-May
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
x x x x

BLOOM COLOR: white
White Red Pink Orange Yellow Green Blue Lavender Purple Violet Brown Not Applicable
x

FRUITING PERIOD: Jun-Aug.

DISTRIBUTION
HABITAT TYPE:
NATIVE RANGE: eastern United States

HORTICULTURAL
Plant Sale Text: Black Highbush Blueberry is very similar in form and habit to Highbush Blueberry, the primary difference being the color of the berry. Also, Black Highbush Blueberry can tolerate drier soils than Highbush Blueberry. The fruits of Black Highbush Blueberry are small and black, but are quite tasty. The most attractive quality of Black Highbush Blueberry is its fall color. Its leaves turn a variety of shades of yellows, oranges, and reds. Given the right conditions, it is a fast grower and can become a robust shrub in relatively short period of time.

Cultural Notes:

SOIL MOISTURE: Moist/Wet, Well-drained
LIGHT EXPOSURE: Part Shade
MINIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 5
MAXIMUM HARDINESS ZONE: 9
GERMINATION CODE:
WILDLIFE VALUE: Bee Friendly, Bird Friendly
USDA PLANTS DATABASE
USDA Symbol: VAFU
USDA Common Name: Black Highbush Blueberry
Native Status: L48 (N)
Distribution: USA (AL, AR, CT, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT)
Duration: Perennial
Growth Habit: Shrub

NATIONAL WETLAND INDICATOR STATUS

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FACW FAC FACW FAC FACW

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 2016 National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.3 (Lichvar, R.W., D.L. Banks, W.N. Kirchner, and N.C. Melvin. 2016. The National Wetland Plant List: 2016 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2016-30: 1-17. Published 28 April 2016. ISSN 2153 733X). Regions: AGCP-Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain, AK-Alaska, AW-Arid West, CB-Caribbean, EMP-Eastern Mountains and Piedmont, GP-Great Plains, HI-Hawaii, MW-Midwest, NCNE-Northcentral and Northeast, WMCV-Western Mountains, Valleys & Coast
WEAKLEY FLORA
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Vaccinium fuscatum
COMMON NAME: Hairy Highbush Blueberry, Black Highbush Blueberry
SYNONYMY: [= GW, Il, K, Va, W, X, Y; < V. corymbosum - C, FNA, L, Pa, WH3, Z; = V. atrococcum (Gray) Heller - F, G, RAB, X; ? V. marianum S. Watson - G; > Cyanococcus fuscatus (Aiton) Small - S; > Cyanococcus atrococcus (A. Gray) Small - S]
PHENOLOGY: Feb-May; Jun-Aug.
HABITAT: Bogs, pocosins, swamps, also in uplands.
COMMENTS: ME and NB to s. MI, south to c. peninsular FL and e. TX.
RANGE MAP: Vaccinium fuscatum.png

Key to Map Symbols.

ABOUT FAMILY (Weakley Flora)
Ericaceae A.L. de Jussieu 1789 (Heath Family)
SUMMARY: A family of about 107-124 genera and 3400-4100 species, primarily shrubs, small trees, and subshrubs, nearly cosmopolitan. The Ericaceae is very important in our area, which is one of the north temperate centers of diversity for the Ericaceae, with a great diversity of genera and species, many of them rather narrowly endemic. Along with Quercus and Pinus, various members of this family are dominant in much of our landscape.
REFERENCE: Tucker in FNA (2009); Gillespie & Kron (2010, 2013); Kron et al. (2002); Wood (1961); Judd & Kron (1993); Kron & Chase (1993); Luteyn et al. (1996)=L; Dorr & Barrie (1993); Cullings & Hileman (1997); Stevens et al. in Kubitzki (2004).
ABOUT GENUS (Weakley Flora)
Vaccinium Linnaeus 1753 (Blueberry)
SUMMARY: A genus of 140 species, shrubs, lianes, and small trees, semicosmopolitan. Vaccinium in our area is divided into 6 strongly differentiated sections, sometimes, as by Small, treated as separate genera. The taxonomy of Vaccinium remains unclear – past divergence of opinion is obvious in the synonymy. For instance, Small (1933) recognizes 6 genera and 25 species for our area, Ahles in RAB (1968) recognizes 1 genus and 14 species (one with 2 varieties) (not including VA), and Vander Kloet (1988) recognizes 1 genus and 9 species. The highbush blueberries of section Cyanococcus are particularly difficult. Vander Kloets extremely broad concept of the highbush blueberries as consisting of a single species, V. corymbosum, including V. fuscatum (V. atrococcum – RAB), V. simulatum (V. constablaei – RAB), V. virgatum (V. amoenum – RAB), V. elliottii, V. formosum (V. australe), and V. caesariense (and many other named taxa not recognized here) has been adopted by some recent authors, at least partly for its ease of application. I agree with Godfrey (1988), though, that V. elliottii has such distinctiveness as to be recognizable in the field at a glance. The other taxa are less easily recognizable, but seem to have substantial morphological and phytogeographic integrity. The fairly frequent presence of hybrid individuals and populations can make identification frustrating, but I agree with Ward (1974) that the genus Vaccinium ... is difficult but not in any way an irresolvable tangle of intergrading populations. The vast bulk of individuals encountered in the field may be assigned, as with any non-apomict genus, to a relatively few, discrete, and wholly recognizable species. Many of the taxa included in V. corymbosum by Vander Kloet (1988) and Luteyn et al. (1996) occur together in combinations of two to four, are immediately recognizable in the field, bloom at different times, and have different flower, fruit, and leaf morphology. Failure to recognize multiple entities within the highbush blueberries results in the taxonomic homogenization of the diversity of the group and obscures important phytogeographic patterns. Our area, with 20 species (24 taxa) in 6 sections, has a greater diversity of Vaccinium than any other comparably sized area in North America.
REFERENCE: Vander Kloet (1988)=Z; Uttal (1987)=Y; Camp (1945)=X; Ashe (1931)=V; Ward (1974)=Q; Luteyn et al. (1996)=L; Vander Kloet in FNA (2009); Vander Kloet & Hall (1981); Vander Kloet (1977, 1978a, 1978b, 1980, 1982, 1983a, 1983b); Uttal (1986a, 1986b); Smith et al. (2015)=D; Stevens et al. in Kubitzki (2004). Key based in part on Uttal (1987).

Seeds of Success (SOS)

SOS_NUM COL_DATE PERS_NUM STATE ECOREGION_III DETAIL
205 2015-07-08 3 North Carolina 63 Show
440 2016-06-16 62 North Carolina 63 Show
441 2016-06-16 61 North Carolina 63 Show

HERBARIUM RESOURCES
SERNEC: Find Vaccinium fuscatum in Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)
UNC SERNEC: Find Vaccinium fuscatum in University of North Carolina Chapel Hill Herbarium - Southeast Regional Network of Experts and Collections (if available)

WEB RESOURCES
USDA: Find Vaccinium fuscatum in USDA Plants
NPIN: Find Vaccinium fuscatum in NPIN Database
FNA: Find Vaccinium fuscatum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Vaccinium fuscatum

NCBG RECORD
ID IMAGE1: 18034
ID IMAGE2: 18031
ID IMAGE3: 28323
Include in WOTAS: 0
Publish to Web: 1
Last Modified: 2017-01-03

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