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Plant Profile: Blueberry

Excerpt from Wikipedia: Blueberries are a widely distributed and widespread group of perennial flowering plants with blue or purple berries. They are classified in within the genus Vaccinium, which also includes cranberries, bilberries, huckleberries and Madeira blueberries. Commercial blueberries—both wild (lowbush) and cultivated (highbush)—are all native to North America. The highbush varieties were introduced into Europe during the 1930s.

Blueberries are usually prostrate shrubs that can vary in size from 4 inches to 13 feet in height. In commercial production of blueberries, the species with small, pea-size berries growing on low-level bushes are known as "lowbush blueberries" (synonymous with "wild"), while the species with larger berries growing on taller, cultivated bushes are known as "highbush blueberries". Canada is the leading producer of lowbush blueberries, while the United States produces some 40% of the world supply of highbush blueberries.

Size: 4 inches to 13 feet tall.

Uses: Fabric dye, baked goods, jams, cocktails, syrups, sauces.

Companions: Trees, flowers, herbs, strawberries.

Habitat: Acidic wetland - food source for native bees, honey bees, black bears, foxes, rabbits, raccoons, mice, birds, and butterfly caterpillars.

Harvest: June to August - harvest when berries are blue and fall off into your hand.

Fun Fact: The names of blueberries in other languages often translate exactly to "blueberry", for example: the Scottish word is blaeberry and the Norwegian word is blåbær.

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