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Vaccinium formosum H.C. Andrews. Southern Highbush Blueberry, Swamp Highbush Blueberry. Phen: Late Feb-May; Jun-Aug. Hab: Bogs, swamps (especially blackwater, or at least where away from strong alluvial influence), seepages, depression ponds (dolines), other moist ground. Dist: NJ south to n. FL and s. AL (and apparently to e. LA), primarily on the Coastal Plain; rarely occurring into the lower piedmont (in NC, as far west as Chatham and Orange counties, for instance).

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: Vaccinium formosum is a tetraploid species, 4x=48 (Redpath et al. 2022).

Other Comments: This species is the primary genetic source of the cultivated highbush blueberries. It has the largest and arguably the highest quality fruit of the native highbush blueberries.

Synonymy: = K1, K3, K4, Va, Uttal (1987); = Cyanococcus virgatus (Aiton) Small – S, misapplied; = Vaccinium australe Small – G, GW2, Camp (1945); < Vaccinium corymbosum L. – C, Fl5, FNA8, NY, Pa, RAB, WH3, Luteyn et al (1996), Redpath et al (2022), Vander Kloet (1988)

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷