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Vaccinium arboreum Marshall. Farkleberry, Sparkleberry. Phen: Late Apr-Jun; Sep-Oct. Hab: Rocky or sandy woodlands, bluffs, and cliffs, usually xeric and often fire-maintained, and unlike most other Vaccinium, often on mafic, ultramafic, or calcareous rocks. Dist: This species is widely distributed in se. North America, from TX and FL north to MO, IN, KY, and VA.

ID notes: Vaccinium arboreum can be a small tree, to 35 cm DBH and 10 m tall. The leaves are coriaceous and semi-evergreen, often being retained for much or all of the winter, especially in the southern part of our area.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: Vaccinium arboreum is a diploid species (2x=24) (Redpath et al. 2022). Var. glaucescens (Greene) Sargent may be worthy of recognition; it differs from var. arborescens in its subglaucous to conspicuously blue-green (vs. dark green) leaves and the bracts at the base of the pedicels nearly equal in size and shape to the leaves (vs. bracts distinctly smaller and often also different in shape than the leaves).

Synonymy: = Ar, C, Fl5, FNA8, G, GrPl, K1, K3, K4, NcTx, RAB, Tn, Va, W, WH3, Camp (1945), Luteyn et al (1996), Redpath et al (2022), Uttal (1987), Vander Kloet (1988); = Batodendron arboreum (Marshall) Nutt. – S; > Vaccinium arboreum Marshall var. arboreum – F, Il, Tx; > Vaccinium arboreum Marshall var. glaucescens (Greene) Sarg. – F, Il, Tx

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACU
  • Eastern Mountains and Piedmont: FACU
  • Great Plains: FACU
  • Midwest: FACU

Heliophily ?: 5

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image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Sonnia Hill | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Joey Shaw source | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Alan Cressler: Vaccinium arboreum, Sprewell Bluff State Park, Upson County, Georgia 3 by Alan Cressler source | Original Image ⭷

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