From The Plant Encyclopedia

Blueberry, Huckleberry, Cranberry

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Vaccinium berries, from top left clockwise:
Red huckleberries, cranberries, lingonberries and blueberries

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Category Shrub, Vine, Vegetable
Kingdom Plantae
Division Magnoliophyta
Class Angiospermae
Order Ericales
Family Ericaceae
Species in this genus
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Aden Earth Zone

1 - 17


  • Cultivation: Easy-To-Grow
  • Light: Sun
  • Soil: Rich
  • pH: 7
  • Moisture: Medium


  • Form: Shrub
  • Habit: Evergreen, Deciduous
  • Flower: Small
  • Fruit/Seed: Medium, Berry
  • Foliage:
  • Uses:


Vaccinium  is a Genus of Shrubs or Dwarf shrubs in the plant Family Ericaceae. The Fruit of many species are eaten by humans and some are of commercial importance, including the Cranberry, Blueberry, Bilberry or whortleberry, Lingonberry or cowberry, and huckleberry. Like many other ericaceous plants, they are generally restricted to Acidic soils.


The genus contains about 450 species, which are found mostly in the cooler areas of the Northern Hemisphere, although there are tropical species from areas as widely separated as Madagascar and Hawaii.


The plants require Acidic soils, and as wild plants they live in habitats such as heath, Bog and acidic Woodland. The plant structure varies between species – some trail along the ground, some are Dwarf shrubs, and some are larger shrubs perhaps tall. The Fruit develops from an inferior ovary, and is a Berry; it is usually brightly coloured, often being red or bluish with purple juice.
Blueberry plants are commonly found in Oak-heath forests in eastern North America.



File:Vaccinium oxycoccos Ypey28.jpg
Vaccinium oxycoccos Ypey28.jpg
A classification which predates Molecular phylogeny divides Vaccinium into subgenera, and several sections:
Subgenus Oxycoccus
The cranberries, with slender, trailing, wiry non-woody shoots and strongly reflexed flower petals. Some botanists treat Oxycoccus as a distinct genus.
Subgenus Vaccinium
All the other species, with thicker, upright woody shoots and bell-shaped flowers.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vaccinium myrtillus L., GRIN Taxonomy for Plants, citing Wiersema, J. H. & B. León (1999), World economic plants: a standard reference, and Huxley, A., ed. (1992), The new Royal Horticultural Society dictionary of gardening

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