Blueberry Plant Information
Blueberry grows in the following 49 states:Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, District Of Columbia, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Oregon, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington
Vaccinium /vksnim/ is a common and widespread genus of shrubs or dwarf shrubs in the heath family. The fruit of many species are eaten by humans and some are of commercial importance, including the cranberry, blueberry, bilberry or whortleberry, lingonberry or cowberry, and huckleberry. Like many other ericaceous plants, they are generally restricted to acidic soils.
The plant structure varies between species - some trail along the ground, some are dwarf shrubs, and some are larger shrubs perhaps 1 to 2m (3 to 7ft) tall. The fruit develops from an inferior ovary, and is a berry; it is usually brightly coloured, often being red or bluish with purple juice.
The genus was first described scientifically by Carl Linnaeus in 1753. The name vaccinium was used in classical Latin for a plant, possibly the bilberry or a hyacinth, and may be derived from the Latin bacca, berry, although its ultimate derivation is obscure. It is not the same word as vaccinum "of or pertaining to cows".
The taxonomy of the genus is complex, and still under investigation. Genetic analysis indicates that the genus Vaccinium is not monophyletic. A number of the Asian species are more closely related to Agapetes than to other Vaccinium species. A second group includes most of Orthaea and Notopora, at least some of Gaylussacia (huckleberry), and a number of species from Vaccinium, such as Vaccinium crassifolium. Other parts of Vaccinium form other groups, sometimes together with species of other genera.Vaccinium's taxonomy can either be resolved by enlarging the genus to include the entirety of the Vaccinieae tribe, or by breaking the genus up into several different genera.
A classification predating molecular phylogeny divides Vaccinium into subgenera, and several sections:
The genus contains about 450 species, which are found mostly in the cooler areas of the Northern Hemisphere, although there are tropical species from areas as widely separated as Madagascar and Hawaii.
Plants of this group typically require acidic soils, and as wild plants they live in habitats such as heath, bog and acidic woodland (for example, blueberries under oaks or pines). Blueberry plants are commonly found in oak-heath forests in eastern North America.
Vaccinium species are used as food plants by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) species - see list of Lepidoptera that feed on Vaccinium.
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