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Vaccinium arboreum Marshall
Farkleberry, Tree sparkleberry, Sparkleberry
Synonym(s): Batodendron andrachniforme, Batodendron arboreum, Vaccinium arboreum var. glaucescens
USDA Symbol: VAAR
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Tree sparkle-berry is a coarse, spreading, deciduous shrub or small tree. It usually grows 12-15 ft., but can reach 25 ft. Fragrant flowers resemble tiny, white bells. Inedible, persistent, black berries follow. Shiny, dark-green leaves turn deep-red in the fall. Bark exfoliates and is composed of grays, rich browns, oranges, and reddish-browns. A shrub or tree with short trunk, irregular crown of crooked branches, small, glossy, elliptical leaves, and shiny black berries.
This is the tallest of the genus of blueberries, often called huckleberries. The fruit has thin, slightly sweet pulp and large seeds. Although not palatable to humans, the berries are consumed by wildlife.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Tree Leaf:
Dark Green Flower:
Flowers 1/2 inch
Blue Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
, VA Native Distribution:
to s. IN
s. to FL
& TX Native Habitat:
Sandy, open woods; wooded stream banks; clearings
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
Medium Cold Tolerant:
Sandy or rocky, acid soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Acid-based Conditions Comments:
Sparkleberry leaves may hang on through the winter if the plant is protected from gusty winds. The shrub
is susceptible to chlorosis due on high alkaline sites.
Attractive, Understory tree,
Fruits ornamental, Fall conspicuous, Aromatic Use Wildlife:
Fruit-birds, Fruit-mammals. Conspicuous Flowers:
Butterflies Larval Host:
Henrys Elfin, Striped hairstreak.
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
Description: Most commonly propagated by softwood cuttings taken in spring. Vaccinium will also root from hardwood cuttings of unbranched shoots of previous season. Seeds may need to be stratified and should be sown on a slightly acid soil mix.
Seed Treatment: Stratify for 60-90 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
is a larval host and/or nectar source for:
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0435
Collected May 31, 1993 in Bexar County by Cecil Mayo
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-MLE-46
Collected 2010-11-03 in Hardin County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-07
Research By: TWC Staff