Blueberry Bush Varieties

There are many species of blueberry bushes (Vaccinium spp.) available for home cultivation, though not all species will produce the edible, antioxidant-rich fruits that many are fond of. Native to the southeastern United States, the blueberry is a distinguished member of the heath family that can be cultivated for its lovely blooms, and for its ability to attract wildlife in droves.

Shiny Blueberry

Shiny blueberry (Vaccinium myrsinites) is a low-growing, compact evergreen bush notable for its pinkish-white, urn-shaped blooms and small, deep-blue edible berries. Shiny blueberry is an excellent choice for gardeners who want flavorful berries--and it doesn't take up too much space. Shiny blueberry will grow best in full sunlight in USDA gardening zones 7 to 10. Shiny blueberry should be planted in acidic, sandy soil, rather than limey fertile soil. The plant is quite drought tolerant once established, requiring little water.

Rabbiteye Blueberry

Named for its immature pinkish "rabbit eye" fruits, which gradually ripen to a rich blue, rabbiteye blueberry (Vaccinium ashei) is easily grown in sandy, low-pH soils in USDA gardening zones 7 to 9. Avoid planting the shrub in heavy clays or poorly drained soils. The shrub has plenty of open spaces that allow for wildlife to creep inside. The plant offers pink, bell-shaped flowers and blueberries that both humans and birds can enjoy. Rabbiteye blueberry is best grown in sunlight or partial shade. The resilient plant will tolerate drought and mild flooding. Once established, the plant requires virtually no attention other than harvesting its fruit if you so choose.

Deerberry

Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum) is a low-maintenance blueberry bush grown for its wildlife attracting tendencies, sweet downward-facing white blooms and edible fruits. The plant attracts a range of animals, from songbirds to black bears, foxes, squirrels and white-tailed deer. Deerberry grows in sandy, acidic soils in USDA zones 5 to 9. The drought-tolerant plant does well in full sun or partial shade.

Keywords: blueberry bush, blueberry types, blueberry varieties

About this Author

Michelle Wishhart is a writer based out of Astoria, Ore. She has been writing professionally for five years, starting with her position as a staff arts writer for an alternative weekly paper in Santa Cruz. She has a B.A. in fine arts from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a minor in English literature.