Flora of the Southeastern United States
2022 Edition

Colors

Data mode

Key to Vaccinium, Key C: blueberries, section Cyanococcus

1 Shrubs rhizomatous, forming clonal colonies, the upright stems < 1 m tall (and often < 0.5 m tall); ["lowbush blueberries"].
..2 Leaves evergreen, 5-15 mm long (rarely to 30 mm long on fire sprouts), subcoriaceous, glossy dark-green or dull blue-green; [se. SC southward to s. FL, west to e. LA].
....3 Plant glaucous and bluish-green throughout; leaf undersurface lacking scattered glandular hairs; [s. GA south to s. peninsular FL, west to e. LA]
....3 Plant dark green throughout; leaf undersurface with scattered glandular hairs, these sometimes very few by late in the season (best seen in the field by folding a leaf, holding the fold up to the light, and using a 10× lens); [ne. SC southward to n. FL, west to s. AL]
..2 Leaves deciduous to semi-evergreen, herbaceous, generally > 20 mm in length, dull to somewhat glossy and medium green; [collectively widespread in our area].
......4 Lower surfaces of the leaves with red stipitate glands (sometimes pubescent as well when young); berry usually black and lustrous; [Coastal Plain and lower Piedmont]
......4 Lower surfaces of the leaves eglandular, pubescent or glabrous; berry either blue and glaucous, or black and glandular-hirsute; [collectively widespread in our area].
........5 Leaves sharply serrulate (each tooth with a small glandular tip), 20-32 mm long, 6-16 mm wide, green and shiny below (rarely glaucous), glabrous or nearly so
........5 Leaves entire or obscurely serrulate (if obscurely serrulate then 30-50 mm long and 13-25 mm wide), either glaucous and glabrous (or nearly so) beneath, or green and densely pubescent beneath.
..........6 Leaves pale and glaucous, glabrous on both sides or pubescent on the underside only; berry blue and glaucous; [plants collectively widespread].
............7 Plants mostly 0.5-1.0 (-1.4) m tall, stems brown for much of their length; leaves entire; fruit 7-12 mm in diameter; [moderate to high elevations of the Mountains]
............7 Plants mostly 0.2-0.6 (-1.0) m tall, stems green to the base (or brown at the very base); leaves serrulate (rarely entire); fruit 4-7 (-8) mm in diameter; [widespread, at low to moderate elevations]
..........6 Leaves green, pilose on both sides; berry either blue and glaucous, or black and glandular-hirsute; [Mountains].
..............8 Berry black and glandular-hirsute; calyx and corolla hirsute and stipitate-glandular; leaves mostly > 3 cm long; [Mountains of sw. NC and adjacent TN and GA]
..............8 Berry blue and glaucous; calyx and corolla glabrous; leaves mostly < 3.5 cm long; [of the mountains of n. NC and north]
1 Shrubs crown-forming, single-stemmed or several-stemmed from the base, the upright stems generally > 1 m tall (often 2-3 m tall, and rarely to 7 m); ["highbush blueberries"].
................9 Leaves with stipitate glands on the lower surface; [Coastal Plain of SC and s. NC south to FL, west to TX]
................9 Leaves lacking stipitate glands on the lower surface (variously glabrous to pubescent with eglandular hairs); [collectively widespread].
..................10 Leaves 0.7-3.5 cm long, 0.3-1.5 cm wide, with serrulate margins; twigs slender, numerous
..................10 Leaves 3-10 cm long, 1.5-4.5 cm wide, with entire, ciliate, or serrulate margins; twigs stouter, fewer.
....................11 Young twigs glabrous; leaf surfaces glabrous; leaf margins eciliate or ciliate.
......................12 Leaves 4-10 cm long, 2.5-4.5 cm wide, most of them widest below the middle, eciliate; leaf bud scales reddish, 2-4 mm long, including the elongated (1.5-3 mm long), slender awnlike tips; corollas 8-12 mm long, cylindrical; berry 7-12 mm in diameter, dark blue with a glaucous bloom; [primarily Coastal Plain, very rarely disjunct in Coastal Plain like habitats in the Mountains or Piedmont]
......................12 Leaves 3-8 cm long, 1.5-3 cm wide, most of them widest at or above the middle, ciliate or not; leaf bud scales flesh-colored or pink to reddish, 1-3 mm long, including the short (to 1.5 mm long) awnlike tips; corollas 4-10 mm long, cylindrical, subglobose, subcampanulate, or urceolate; berry 5-10 mm in diameter, blue with a glaucous bloom; [collectively widespread in our area].
........................13 Leaves 3-6 cm long, 1.5-2 cm wide, eciliate; corolla 4-6 mm long; [primarily Coastal Plain, very rarely disjunct in Coastal Plain like habitats in the Piedmont]
........................13 Leaves 3-8 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, usually ciliate-margined, at least basally; corolla 5-10 mm long; [of the Mountains and montane sites in the upper Piedmont]
....................11 Young twigs puberulent, at least in lines; leaf surfaces more-or-less pubescent; leaf margins ciliate (rarely eciliate).
..........................14 Puberulence of the young twigs merely in 2 lines; [Mountains and montane sites in the upper Piedmont].
............................15 Leaves elliptic to elliptic-obovate, broadest at or beyond the middle, the apex acute to short-acuminate; leaf margins entire to obscurely serrulate; corolla 5-10 mm long; berry blue, glaucous
............................15 Leaves narrowly ovate, broadest below the middle, the apex acuminate; leaf margins distinctly serrulate; corolla 5-7 mm long; berry purple-black, not glaucous (sometimes drying so as to appear somewhat glaucous blue)
..........................14 Puberulence of the young twigs extending around their circumference (not merely in 2 lines); [collectively widespread in our area].
..............................16 Hairs of the twigs and leaf surfaces whitish; leaves medium to pale green, not darkening on drying; berry blue, glaucous; twigs and bud scales flesh-colored to reddish; corolla 5-10 mm long, usually not narrowed to the tip; blooming May; [Mountains and montane sites in the upper Piedmont]
..............................16 Hairs of the twigs and leaf surfaces dingy, brownish, or dark; leaves dark green, darkening on drying; berry black; twigs and bud scales brownish-green to black; corolla 5-8 mm long, often narrowed to the tip; blooming Feb-Apr; [widespread in our area, though most common in the Coastal Plain]