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Vaccinium stamineum flowers 1

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Ordo: Ericales

Familia: Ericaceae
Subfamilia: Vaccinioideae
Tribus: Vaccinieae
Genus: Vaccinium
Sectio: V. sect. Polycodium
Species: Vaccinium stamineum

Vaccinium stamineum L., 1753

Arbutus myrtilloides Humb. ex Steud.
Picrococcus elevatus Nutt.
Picrococcus floridanus Nutt.
Picrococcus stamineus (L.) Nutt.
Polycodium ashei Harbison
Polycodium caesium Greene
Polycodium candicans Small
Polycodium depressum Small
Polycodium elevatum Greene
Polycodium floridanum (Nutt.) Greene
Polycodium glandulosum Ashe
Polycodium interius Ashe
Polycodium leptosepalum Small
Polycodium macilentum Small
Polycodium melanocarpum (C.Mohr) Small
Polycodium multiflorum Ashe
Polycodium neglectum Small
Polycodium stamineum (L.) Greene
Vaccinium album Pursh
Vaccinium candicans (Small) Sleum.
Vaccinium depressum (Small) Sleum.
Vaccinium floridanum (Nutt.) Sleum.
Vaccinium glandulosum (Ashe) Sleum.
Vaccinium harbisonii Sleum.
Vaccinium interius (Ashe) Sleum.
Vaccinium leptosepalum (Small) Sleum.
Vaccinium macilentum (Small) Sleum.
Vaccinium melanocarpum (C.Mohr) C.Mohr
Vaccinium neglectum (Small) Fern.
Vaccinium semipersistens Sleum.
Vaccinium stamineum var. caesium (Greene) D.B.Ward
Vaccinium stamineum var. candicans (Small) C.Mohr
Vaccinium stamineum var. glandulosum (Ashe) D.B.Ward
Vaccinium stamineum var. interius (Ashe) Palmer & Steyerm.
Vaccinium stamineum var. melanocarpum C.Mohr
Vaccinium stamineum var. multiflorum (Ashe) D.B.Ward
Vaccinium stamineum var. neglectum (Small) Deam
Vaccinium stamineum var. sericeum (Mohr) P.C.Baker

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
USA (Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Vermont, West Virginia), Canada (Ontario), Mexico (Guanajuato, Queretaro, San Luis Potosi)

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition

Primary references

Linnaeus, C. 1753. Species plantarum, exhibentes plantas rite cognitas, ad genera relatas, cum differentiis specificis, nominibus trivialibus, synonymis selectis, locis natalibus, secundum systema sexuale digestas. Tomus I. Pp. [I–XII], 1–560. Impensis Laurentii Salvii, Holmiae [Stockholm]. BHL Reference page. : 350.


Hassler, M. 2020. Vaccinium stamineum. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 30. Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Vaccinium stamineum in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 30. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2020. Vaccinium stamineum. Published online. Accessed: May 30 2020.
Tropicos.org 2020. Vaccinium stamineum. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 30.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Vaccinium stamineum in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.

Vernacular names
English: deerberry

Vaccinium stamineum, commonly known as deerberry, tall deerberry, squaw huckleberry, highbush huckleberry, buckberry, and southern gooseberry, is a species of flowering plant in the heath family.[3] It is native to North America, including Ontario, the eastern and central United States, and parts of Mexico.[4][5] It is most common in the southeastern United States.[3]


This species is quite variable in morphology.[6] It is a shrub usually growing up to 1.5 meters (60 inches or 5 feet) tall, but reaching up to 3 meters (10 feet) at times. It has multiple twisted trunks covered in peeling reddish bark and is highly branched, tapering into thin twigs, some just a millimeter wide. It is deciduous, with alternately arranged leaves. The thin leaf blades are yellow-green, sometimes hairy or waxy in texture, especially on the undersides, and oval in shape with pointed tips and smooth edges. They are up to 7 centimeters (2.8 inches) long by 2.5 cm (1 inch) wide. The flowers are borne in hanging inflorescences from the leaf axils. Each flower has five green sepals and a bell-shaped corolla of five fused white petals about half a centimeter (0.2 inches) long. The long, yellow stamens protrude, bearing long, tubular anthers. The style is longer than the stamens. The fruit is a spherical berry about a centimeter wide. It is greenish or yellowish, often with a purple tinge.[3][2]
Biology and ecology

This plant usually grows in dry, rocky habitat types in forests and fields, but it sometimes occurs in moist areas such as bogs and swamps. It grows in acidic, well-drained soils. It is wildfire-adapted and associated with fire-tolerant vegetation.[3]

It establishes via seed, and commonly spreads via woody rhizomes, with a single plant forming what appears to be a thicket with many trunks. Because most of the mass of the plant is underground, it easily survives fire and the above-ground parts grow back.[3]

The fruits are large for a Vaccinium species. They are an important food source for many kinds of wildlife. They are eagerly consumed by deer along with the twigs and foliage, the inspiration for the common names deerberry and buckberry. Smaller animals gather fallen fruits from the ground. They are food for many songbirds, ruffed grouse, bobwhite quail, wild turkey, foxes, raccoons, black bears, chipmunks, and squirrels.[3]

The plant is pollinated by bees, the primary pollinator being Melitta americana. Bees dislodge, accumulate, and disperse pollen with buzz pollination while foraging nectar from the bell-shaped flowers.[6] This species is a host to the blueberry maggot (Rhagoletis mendax) a pest of blueberry crops.[3]

The fruit is edible for humans, and the taste has been described as tart, sour, bitter, or "sweet-spicy tasting, a little reminiscent of lady's perfume".[3] The skin is often bitter, but some localized populations of plants yield more palatable fruit. It has long been collected in the southern United States for preserves and pie filling.[7]
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Vaccinium stamineum.

"Vaccinium stamineum". NatureServe Explorer. NatureServe. Retrieved 2018-09-23.
Flora of North America, Vaccinium stamineum Linnaeus, 1753. Deerberry, southern gooseberry
Hill, S. R. Conservation Assessment for Deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum). United States Department of Agriculture, National Forest Service, Eastern Region. December 31, 2002.
"Vaccinium stamineum". Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN). Agricultural Research Service (ARS), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Retrieved 10 January 2018.
Biota of North America Program 2014 county distribution map
Cane, J. H., et al. (1985). Pollination ecology of Vaccinium stamineum (Ericaceae: Vaccinioideae). American Journal of Botany 72(1), 135-42.
Ballington, J. R. (1996). The deerberry (Vaccinium stamineum L. Vaccinium Section Polycodium (Raf.) Sleumer) a potential new small fruit crop. Journal of Small Fruit & Viticulture 3(2-3), 21-28.

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