Darrow’s Native Blueberry Bush



Botanical Name:   Vaccinium darrowii

Common Name:  Darrow’s Blueberry, Evergreen Blueberry, Scrub Blueberry

Description:  Yes, Virginia, blueberry bushes are native to Florida.

Darrow’s blueberry and shiny blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites) are two small native blueberry bushes commonly found in Florida’s pine forests, low flatwoods, scrubby flatwoods, oak-scrub, palmetto scrubs, and swales. Darrow’s blueberry prefers it more moist, albeit not wet. It needs sandy acidic soils and stays around 2-3′ tall and wide, although it can spread by rhizomes further than 3′. The attractive foliage with beautiful purple tinge on the new growth really makes it a stand-out edible plant to use in your Florida landscape as a low foundation hedge, border plant, or incorporated into your wildflower garden. The flowers and fruit are also smaller than the rabbiteye or highbush cultivars but aren’t any less lovely. The pink or white bell-shaped flowers come out in spring followed by the blueberries in late spring to early summer. Although the blueberries are smaller, they have a great taste and are at a perfect height for children to help you pick from your very own edible landscape. Newly formed fruits are gray/green and will mature into blue/black berries. And, this blueberry bush is evergreen. It likes to grow in the sun, part sun, to part shade areas of your garden. It attracts various pollinators, especially native bees. Documented bee species include Agapostemon splendens, Augochlorella aurata, A. gratiosa and Apis mellifera (honey bee). Birds and other wildlife like to eat the delicious fruit. It does need supplemental watering during extended periods of drought.

This blueberry will self-pollinate and set fruit, but studies have shown that there will be a sizable increase in fruit set if another variety of blueberry is close by for cross-pollination. I’ll have other varieties of blueberries in stock soon.

Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water. Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray.

This plant in 3-gallon containers is 1-2′ tall.

Plant Lore:  Because of it’s small growth habit, this can be grown in containers. Be sure that the potting soil is very acidic, 4.0 – 5.5 pH, by adding plenty of pine bark mulch to it.

Florida Hardiness Zones 8 – 10



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