Blueberry Cultivars for Oregon
There are five main types of blueberries grown in the United States: northern highbush, southern highbush, rabbiteye, lowbush, and half-high.
Northern highbush blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are native to much of the eastern and northeastern U.S., from the Appalachian Mountains to the Atlantic Ocean. Plants grow 5 to 9 feet tall.
Southern highbush blueberries were developedto allow blueberry production in “low-chill” areas (regions with mild winters). A dormant plant requires a certain amount of chilling (between approximately 32°F and 45°F) to break bud and flower normally.
Rabbiteye blueberries (V. virgatum, syn. V. ashei) are native to the southeastern U.S., where plants grow from 6 to 10 feet tall. Rabbiteye cultivars were developed in regions with long, hot summers, and they behave differently in the Pacific Northwest than in their “home” environments.
Lowbush blueberries (V. angustifolium) are native from Minnesota to Virginia and to the northeastern U.S. and the maritime provinces of Canada. Lowbush blueberries are low-growing shrubs that spread by underground stems. They seldom grow higher than 1.5 feet.
Half-high blueberries are the result of crosses between the northern highbush and lowbush blueberry. The idea was to develop a blueberry for cold climates; these cultivars will tolerate -35 to -45°F. Plants grow from 3 to 4 feet tall, so most of the fruiting area is below the snow line.