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Courtesy, University of Georgia Herbarium
Courtesy, University of Georgia Herbarium|
Table of Contents:
According to Radford, Ahles, and Bell, Vaccinium are "trailing
or erect shrubs with deciduous or evergreen leaves. Flowers in fascides,
solitary or in racemes, usually from second year wood. Calyx 5-lobed very
small; corolla white, pink or greenish, urceolate, campanulate or rotate,
lobes the same number as the calyx lobes; stamens twice as many as the calyx
lobes, anthers awned or awnless; ovary inferior, with as many locules as
calyx lobes. Fruit a many-seeded, blue, black, or red berry or drupe. Corolla
bell-shaped, urn-shaped, or cylindrical. Stamens 8 or 10. Berry 4-5 celled
or 8-10 celled by a false partion stretching from the back of each cell
to the placenta.(Radford, 1968) Leaves
alternate with simple blades. (Small, 1933) Two pollen-sacs, each sac opening by a pore at the end of a terminal tubule; style slender, usually surpassing
the stamens. (Cronquist, 1991)
This Species List displays the scientific
names and some known common names for Vaccinium. Varieties and hybrids are
excluded from the list. You also may link directly to specific pages for
the two species V. arboreum and V. corymbosum.
The following keys show defining characteristics of species within
the genus Vaccinium found in the Carolinas as presented by Radford, Ahles,
and Bell in the Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas. The
keys are fairly representative of those species found in the southeastern
I. Flowering Specimens
"I. Corolla urceolate, petals united to near apex.
A. Leaves evergreen, margins decidedly thickened
1. Corolla globular; plant trailing . . . V. x crassifolium
2. Corolla elongate, longer than wide; plant erect . . . V. x myrsinites
B. Leaves deciduous, margins not thickend.
1. Corolla and hypanthium very pubescent. . . V. x hirsutum
2. Corolla and hypanthium glabrous or essentially
a.Young leaves stipitate-glandular beneath.
- Plant 0.5m or less tall. . . V. x tenellum
- Plant 1m or more tall. . . V. x anoenum
b. Young leaves glabrous or at least, not stipitate glandular
- Young leaves or twigs, or both, densely pubescent. . . V.
- Young leaves and twigs glabrous or essentially so.
Corolla more than 2x as long as broad.
. . V. x elliottii
Corolla less than 2x as long as broad
Corolla pink, greenish or whitish, low stoloniferous shrub. Less
than 6 dm tall. . . V. x vacillans
Corolla white, nonstoloniferous shrub. More than 1m tall.
Corolla 5-8 mm long, leave usually serrate. . . V. x constablaei
Corolla 8-11 mm long; leaves entire. . . V. x corymbosum
II. Corolla campanulate, or the lobes longer than the tube.
A. Stamens included; corolla white. . . V. x arboreum
B. Stamens exserted; corolla white or pink
1. Corolla lobes 5, widely campanulate. . . V. x stamineum
2. Corolla lobes 4, widely spreading or reflexed
a. Leaves less than 2 cm long, evergreen, entire; trailing shrub.
. . V. x macrocarpon
b. Leaves more than 2 cm long, deciduous, finely serrate; erect shrub.
. . V. x erythrocarpum
II. Fruiting Specimens
I. Fruit pubescent
A. Trichomes on fruit gland-tipped. . . V. x hirsutum
B. Trichomes on fruit not gland-tipped. . . V. x stamineum
II. Fruit glabrous
A. Fruiting pedicels jointed near apex, with 2 bracts at joint.
. . V. x macrocarpon
B. Fruitng pedicels not joined near apex, bracts absent or minute
1. Fruit solitary in the axils of leaves or leaf-like bracts
a. Leaf margins serrulate; fruit red or reddish black. .
. V. x erythrocarpon
b. Leaf margins entire or remotely denticulate; fruit purplish, greenish,
- Leaves coriaceous, often denticulate, margins frequently revolute,
fruit black. . . V. x arboreum
- Leaves thin, entire, margins not revolute; fruit greenish or
purplish. . . V. x stamineum
2. Fruit 1-several in short racemes, bracts absent, or minute.
a. Leaves less than 1.5 cm long, thick, margins revolute.
b. Leaves less than 1.5 cm long, thick, margins revolute
- Plants trailing; fruiting pedicals shorter than fruit. .
. V. x crassifolium
- Plant erect; fruiting pedicels as long as or longer than fruit.
. . V. x myrsinites
c. Leaves more than 2 cm long, or shorter and thick and margins,
- Leaves stipitate-glandular on lower side (seen best on 3rd-5th
leaf of the season's growth). . . V. x tenellum
- Leaves not stipitate-glandular
Leaves less than 3 cm long and 1.5
cm wide. . . V. x elliotti
Leaves or most of them, more than 3 cm long and 1.5 cm wide
Shrub less than 1m tall, stoloniferous; fruit glaucous. .
. V. x vacillans
Shrub more than 1 m tall, not stoloniferous; fruit glaucous or not.
Leaves densely pubescent beneath; fruit black, not glaucous.
. . V. x atrococcum
Leaves glabrous or essentially so beneath; fruit blue, glaucous.
Leaves entire. . . V. x corymbosum
Leaves usually serrate. . . V. x constablaei"
Return to Table of Contents.
- There are twenty-five genera and three hundred species in the Ericaceae family.(Small, 1933)
Vaccinium comes from the Latin word vaccinius which means "of cows."
Honey bees are very important in the pollination process. Many birds such
as thrushes and blackbirds eat upon this plant as do rabbits and deer.
Small amounts of nitrogen are necessary for growth, but large concentrations
of minerals stunt the growth of these plants. Mycorrhizal infection of
the roots increases the yield. Blueberries under field conditions require winter chilling to satisfy the rest requirement or dormancy. (Clayton-Greene,
1993) Native Americans used dried blueberries to make a beef jerky
called pemmican. In Civil War times, the soldiers resorted to drinking
a beverage made with sweetened blueberries. Blueberry Pie is the most popular
pie in the U.S.A., and blueberries are also an important food commodity
in such things as muffins, cookies, cakes, and pies. For futher information on the history of blueberries. THoreau was so fascinated with berries that he wrote a book called Huckleberries. He wrote that plants in this family, Ericaceae, are among the earliest ones found in a fossil state. Thoureau expanded on the native bluebery being used by the Indians. Champlain in 1615, recorded a new discovery before the Pilgrims settled onto this continent.(Thoreau, 1970) Vaccinium is in the same Family as Azaleas. Some species get their scientific names from common sources such as Arkansanum which grows in Arkansas and darrow which was named after its cultivator George McMillen Darraw. (Vines, 1960)
- Clayton-Greene, K.A. 1993. Fifth International Symposim on Vaccinium
Culture. International Society for Horticultural Science. Melbourne, Austrailia.
- Cronquist, A. & H. Gleason. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of the Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd Ed. New York Botanical Garden. New York.
- Fernald, M.L. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany. American Book Company.
New York, NY.
- Grimm, William Carey. 1966. Recognizing Native Shrubs. Stackpole
Books. Harrisburg, PA.
- Halevy, Abraham H. 1985. Handbook of Flowering. CRC Press. Boca Raton,
- Jones, S.B. & N.C. Coile. 1988. Distribution of the Vascular
Flora of Georgia. Dept. of Botany, University of Georgia. Athens, GA.
- Vander Kloet, S.P. 1988. The Genus Vaccinium in North America.
Acadia University. Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
- Matthews, F. Schuyler. 1915. Field Book of American Trees and
Shrubs. G.P. Putnams's Son's. New York, New York.
- Mellinger, Marie B. 1984. Atlas of the Vascular Flora of Georgia.
Studio Designs Printing, Milledgeville, Ga.
- Peterson, Maude Gridley. 1908. How to Know Wild Fruits. Macmillan
Company. New York, New York.
- Radford, A.E., H.E. Ahles & C.R. Bell. 1968. Manual of the Vascular
Flora of the Carolinas. University of North Carolina Press. Chapel Hill,
- Small, J.K. 1933. Manual of the Southeastern Flora. Published by the AUthor. New York.
- Stafleu, F.A. & R.S. Cowan. 1981.
Taxonomic Literature. v3. International Association for Plant Taxonomy. Boston, MA.
- Thoreau, Henry David. 1970. Huckleberries. The Windhover Press of the
University of Iowa. New York, New York.
- Vines, R.A. 1960. Trees and Woody Vines of the Southwest. University
of Texas Press. Austin, TX.
- Elizabeth Skillen for scanning pictures.
- Mike Moore for assistance in the Herbabarium.
- Jason Herring for assistance in programming.
- Tom Jordan for assistance in programming.
- Dr. Manhunt, Texas A&M, for permission of his images.
- Gerard Krewer, Cooperative Extension Services, for sending information on blueberries.
- Bryan McLucas for assistance in the BLC.