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Duke Blueberry

Vaccinium corymbosum 'Duke'

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Duke Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum 'Duke') at Ashcombe Farm & Greenhouses

Vaccinium corymbosum 'Duke' flowers

Vaccinium corymbosum 'Duke' flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  6 feet

Spread:  4 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Group/Class:  Highbush Blueberry

Description:

A common variety loved for its sweetly-flavored light blue fruit in summer and pretty bell-shaped flowers, bushy and often arching, a heavy and early producer; blueberries need highly acidic soil, perfect drainage and mulch, plant with peat moss

Edible Qualities

Duke Blueberry is a medium-sized shrub that is typically grown for its edible qualities. It produces large clusters of blue round berries which are usually ready for picking from late spring to early summer. The berries have a sweet taste and a juicy texture.

The berries are most often used in the following ways:

  • Fresh Eating
  • Cooking
  • Baking
  • Preserves

Features & Attributes

Duke Blueberry features dainty clusters of white bell-shaped flowers with shell pink overtones hanging below the branches in mid spring. It has green foliage throughout the season. The glossy oval leaves turn an outstanding orange in the fall. It features an abundance of magnificent blue berries from late spring to early summer. The smooth yellow bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

This is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with an upright spreading habit of growth. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition. This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. It is a good choice for attracting birds to your yard. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Aside from its primary use as an edible, Duke Blueberry is sutiable for the following landscape applications;

  • Orchard/Edible Landscaping

Planting & Growing

Duke Blueberry will grow to be about 6 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 4 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 30 years. This variety requires a different selection of the same species growing nearby in order to set fruit.

This shrub is typically grown in a designated area of the yard because of its mature size and spread. It does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have sandy, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This is a selection of a native North American species.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Orchard 
Applications
Flowers  Fruit  Fall Color  Bark  Attracts Wildlife 
Ornamental Features