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Posted Jul 03 2008 5:10pm
blueberryR.jpgWhen it comes to fresh picking and eating, there are about 30 varieties of blueberry worthy of your attention. These can be divided into three categories: the highbush, the lowbush, and the rabbiteye.Highbush blueberriesare the most common blueberries. These are the large, plump and sweet berries with which you are most familiar. Highbush blueberries grow from 3 to 6 feet tall and are found in places where there is acid soil and chilly winters, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia.Lowbush blueberriesare small intensely flavored berries that grow on low bushes that stand just 6 to 18 inches tall. These blueberries grow wild from Minnesota to Maine and in the Maritime Provinces of Canada--Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia. Not surprisingly, you will find lowbush blueberries usually sold as "wild blueberries."Rabbiteye blueberriesare most common in the southern and southeastern regions of the United States. These plants grow to 6 feet tall and do not require a cold winter to set fruit. Rabbiteye blueberries are pink before they ripen; the same color as a rabbit's eye. The large, plump, light blue berries you find at the market are probably highbush varieties. Popular high-bush cultivars include 'Earliblue', which ripens in late spring, 'Bluecrop' and 'Berkeley', which ripen during the summer, and 'Blueray', which ripens from mid-summer to late summer. Highbush blueberries are now commonly grown in Europe, Australia, and parts of South America.
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