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Vaccinium virgatum Aiton. Swamp Blueberry, Rabbiteye Blueberry. Phen: Mar-Apr; May-Jun. Hab: Pocosins and Chamaecyparis swamps, also in various drier habitats, including turkey oak sandhills. Dist: A Southeastern Coastal Plain species, V. virgatum occurs from se. NC south to FL and west to e. TX.

ID notes:Uttal (1989) comments: "In a notoriously difficult genus, Vaccinium virgatum is a snap to identify because its oval shiny leaves are serrate and bear on their undersurface blackish glands similar to those borne by its dwarf relative V. tenellum. Vaccinium virgatum is much grosser in dimensions than V. tenellum. Both are rhizomatous and often grow together, but are easily distinguished. The corollas of Vaccinium virgatum are narrowly cylindro-urceolate, up to 12 mm long, white, or often deep pink and showy. The fruit is shiny to dull black, rarely glaucous and are usually insipid, but in certain plants they are sweet. The latter are sometimes found on a glabrescent, firm-leaved phase found in the lower Savannah River basin."

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: Vaccinium virgatum is a hexaploid species, 6x=72 (Redpath et al. 2022)

Synonymy: = Ar, GW2, K1, Redpath et al (2022); = Cyanococcus amoenus (Aiton) Small – S; = Vaccinium amoenum Aiton – RAB; > Vaccinium amoenum Aiton – Tx, Camp (1945); > Vaccinium ashei Reade – Camp (1945); < Vaccinium corymbosum L. – FNA8, K3, K4, WH3, Luteyn et al (1996), Vander Kloet (1988); > Vaccinium virgatum Aiton – Tx, Camp (1945)

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Weakley source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷