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Vaccinium corymbosum Linnaeus. Smooth Highbush Blueberry. Phen: May; Aug. Hab: Bogs, wet swamp forests, moist high elevation bogs, balds, and forests. Dist: NS west to MI, south to WV, OH, and IN, south in the Appalachians (and rarely on Piedmont monadnocks) to w. NC, nw. SC, n. GA, and e. TN.

Origin/Endemic status: Native

Taxonomy Comments: In the southern states of our area, V. corymbosum (sensu stricto) appears to be limited to the Mountains, except for occurrences on Piedmont monadnocks and outlier ridges, such as Hanging Rock, Stokes County, NC, and the Brushy Mountains, NC. See the end of the genus treatment for discussion of taxonomic controversy involving this species and its allies. Note that this treatment recognizes 2 species (V. formosum and V. caesariense) included within V. corymbosum by RAB and some other authors. V. formosum is the common "corymbosum" type blueberry of the Coastal Plain. V. corymbosum is tetraploid (Redpath et al. 2022); V. constablaei A. Gray (misapplied to V. simulatum by RAB) is correctly applied to hexaploid plants of the high elevation Blue Ridge of NC and TN, especially on heath balds and grassy balds. Camp (1945) considered V. constablaei to be an allopolyploid derivative of V. simulatum and V. altomontanum (itself a tetraploid apparently related to diploid V. pallidum, and of uncertain derivation). The appropriate taxonomic treatment of these plants is unclear; they are apparently not reliably identifiable based on morphology.

Synonymy: = Il, K1, K3, K4, NE, Va, Camp (1945), Uttal (1987); = Cyanococcus corymbosus (L.) Rydb. – S; < Vaccinium constablaei A.Gray – G, Camp (1945); < Vaccinium corymbosum L. – C, FNA8, G, NY, Pa, RAB, Tn, W, Luteyn et al (1996), Redpath et al (2022), Vander Kloet (1988); > Vaccinium corymbosum L. var. albiflorum (Hook.) Fernald – F; > Vaccinium corymbosum L. var. corymbosum – F, Mi, WV; > Vaccinium corymbosum L. var. glabrum Gray – F, WV

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image of plant© Erik Danielson source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷