Vaccinium fuscatum Ait.

  • Family: Ericaceae
  • Common names: thick-leaf blueberry.

    Shrub to 3 m (9 ft) tall. Crown small, irregularly branched. Bark brown. Twigs light green to brown when young, becoming brown with age, glabrous. Leaves alternate, simple, evergreen to semipersistent; lanceolate, elliptic or ovate, 3.3-5 cm (1.3-2 in) long, 1.6-2.5 cm (0.6-1 in) wide; firm and coriaceous, glabrous above, puberulent to pubescent on veins beneath; color dark green or somewhat glaucous; rounded or broadly cuneate at base, acute at apex, margins entire or ocasionally sub-serrate. Flowers fascicled, pedicels about 6 mm (1/4 in) long and glabrous, numbering 3-8, 6-8 mm (1/4 - 1/3 in) long, urceolate; sepals 5, ovate to deltoid, glabrous; corolla with 5 obscure lobes, pink-red; styles 1, filiform; stamens 10; flowers appear in Spring. Fruits berries, 6-10 mm (1/4 - 2/5 in) in diameter, subglobose, dark or subglaucous; fruits mature in Summer.

    Distribution: Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, east to Florida and Georgia.
    Habitat: moist sandy soil, old fields.
    NWI status: FAC+
    Comment: Vaccinium is the classical name for blueberries; fuscatum refers to the brownish hairs. The fruits are not very tasty.
    Field identification: thick-leaf blueberry branches erratically, has leathery leaves, and brown hairs on the stems.

    Distribution in Oklahoma: Although reported to occur in Oklahoma, no herbarium specimens have been found by us.

    Last update: 9/22/99
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