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Vaccinium ashei

Pronunciation: Vak-sin-ee-um ash-ee-eye
Family: Ericaceae (heath family)
Common Name: Rabbiteye blueberry
Plant Type:
  • trees, shrubs
  • fruits, vegetables
Height to: 10'-12'
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Season:
  • early spring
Bloom Description: Its deciduous leaves, often whitish or bluish underneath, turn orange and red in fall. Little pink bell-like flowers appear in early spring with the new leaves and sometimes get caught by late frosts. The powdery blue berries that follow are a delight to the eye and palate and are relished by many kinds of birds.
Soil Type: They will not tolerate clay or water-logged soils, and like azaleas, they must have a low ph (4. 2 to 5. 5). Once established, they usually won't need to be irrigated. They cannot tolerate most well water, because of the high ph. The roots remain close to the soil's surface and are damaged by even light cultivation. They are partial to sandy, acid soils and will tolerate brief flooding as well as drought.
Plant Perks:
  • Medicinal
  • Fall Foliage
Propagation: Division of clumps.
Native to: The southeastern u. S. Where they occur in mixed woods, on high banks along streams or rivers, and in pine flatwoods communities. They are cultivated commercially from virginia and tennessee, west to arkansas and texas, and south to central florida.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata - rabbiteye blueberries are among the easiest fruits to grow if you have the right kind of soil. They will not tolerate clay or water-logged soils, and like azaleas, they must have a low ph (4. 2 to 5. 5). When planting, space them 4-5 ft (1. 2-1. 5 m) apart in full sun to partial shade. Once established, they usually won't need to be irrigated. They cannot tolerate most well water, because of the high ph. The roots remain close to the soil's surface and are damaged by even light cultivation. To control weeds and conserve soil moisture, mulch heavily with pine straw. Use only acid type fertilizer (such as used for azalea and camellias) at low rates and keep it away from the base of the stems. Blueberries are easily killed by excessive fertilizer. Rabbiteye blueberries were named for their pinkish immature fruits which suggest an albino rabbit's eye. They have soft, blue-green leaves in the summer, followed by orange and crimson foliage in the fall. The southeastern united states is home to many other members of the genus vaccinium including deerberry (v. Stamineum) which are also tasty to wildlife and humans. The sparkleberry (v. Arboreum), also called the farkleberry (great name! ), grows to tree size and although the fruit is bitter it is devoured by birds and other wildlife.  
Located in: Trees, Shrubs
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