List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Delavays Blueberry (Vaccinium delavayi)
Whether we know it or not, most of us are familiar with the genus Vaccinium as it has among its members several current or potential commercial crops, such as blueberry, cranberry, bilberry and huckleberry. Vaccinium delavayi, however, is strictly ornamental and very unlikely to be our next export success.
The name vaccinium is an ancient one taken directly from the Latin vernacular: it was used to refer to Vaccinium myrtillus, the delightfully named whortleberry. Vaccinium delavayi takes its specific name, like so many Chinese plants, from the French Jesuit missionary Abbé Jean Marie Delavay (1838-95), who discovered the plant and introduced it to cultivation. He was also responsible for such well-known plants as Abies delavayi, Magnolia delavayi and Osmanthus delavayi reaching our gardens.
Vaccinium delavayi, a native of Burma and south-west China, is a hardy evergreen shrub with small, rounded leaves that are tough and leathery. In spring it produces clusters of small, bell-shaped to almost globular, white flowers that open from pink buds. The flowers are very much in the style of Pieris, Gaultheria, Andromeda and several other closely related genera in the erica family.
Pretty as the flowers are, the real appeal of this little blueberry lies in the deep bluish-black berries that follow. They are just like small blueberries and have a similar flavour but are rather acidic unless very ripe. Although it seems a shame to pick the berries, you might as well because the birds will have no such reservations.
While scarcely a spectacular plant, Vaccinium delavayi is attractive throughout the year and is always interesting, whether in flower, fruit or just as a neat foliage plant. It is an ideal specimen for a rockery or partially shaded corner. It grows to about 45cm high × 60cm wide and can be kept trimmed to a small mound. However, any pruning will adversely affect either the flowering or fruiting.
As any blueberry grower will tell you, Vaccinium plants prefer acidic soil conditions. The small ornamental species are most at home when grown with other erica family plants such as dwarf rhododendrons, evergreen azaleas, ericas, callunas and pieris.
The native New Zealand Gaultheria species are interesting plants to combine with Vaccinium delavayi. Gaultheria crassa, in particular, looks very like its Chinese relative and provides a good illustration of how plants that evolve under similar conditions often resemble each other despite occurring thousands of kilometres apart.
Other small native berrying plants, especially those of the epacris family, also make good companions. An alpine rockery with good berrying forms of Pentachondra pumila, Leucopogon fraseri, Cyathodes empetrifolia, Gaultheria crassa and Vaccinium delavayi would be full of interest and colour throughout the year.
You won't find Vaccinium delavayi in every garden centre, but it shouldn't require too much of a search to locate a specimen. Try looking in the perennials as well as among the shrubs, as it's often sold at a very small size and tends to get lumped in with the rockery perennials.
I am a garden book author and horticultural photographer based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I run a stock photo library called Country, Farm and Garden (http://www.cfgphoto.com). This article may be re-published provided this information is published with it and is clearly visible.
Patio Accessories - Complete The Great Outdoors
Patio accessories can range from small to large and of all types of materials and styles depending on your garden décor. Outdoor entertaining on the patio or backyard has skyrocketed in the last few years as people are treating their patios as outdoor rooms.
A Look at Fall Flower Bulbs
Most people would think of fall as a season when trees are changing colors and dying. For many, the autumn leaves are our last dance with color before the dark, gray winter sets in.
Unique Flowers make a memorable gift!
Think "outside of the box" when sending your next floral gift! The possibilities are endless! Floral Design is an art and florists can customize a masterpiece of flowers!Many florists put a sampling of arrangements on their websites for you to see, but don't feel confined to the photos! The most impressive arrangements are of an "original" design.Ask the florist about any "specialty" flowers they may have in stock.
Lady Bugs Are Your #1 Natural Pest Control
First, this bug has many names. Some of it's names are:lady bugs ladybugs lady beetle asiatic lady beetle Asian Lady Beetle Asian Lady Bugs Multicolored Asian Lady BeetleThe Ladybird Beetle is the correct name for a Lady bug and are not bugs but are beetles.
Growing Vegetables in Containers - The Compact Solution
Container vegetable gardens are a great alternative for those that don't have access to backyards. There can be a range of reasons to grow your vegetables in containers.
A Teak Chair - Create a Livable Outdoor Space with One
When creating a comfortable, usable outdoor space, nothing could me more inviting and warm than furnishing that space with natural products such as wood. Often, though, there are problems associated with wood furnishings.
Feed the Birds
Elaborate and decorative or simple and functional, birdhouses and birdfeeders are lovingly coveted by many people (and birds)!The collector seeking a new piece for the den or study need only consider personal taste and aesthetics- many who enjoy the careful art and craftsmanship of a beautiful birdhouse or feeder would never think of placing their precious gift outside in the rain and other elements.The serious or novice birder, on the other hand, has just a bit more to consider.
Choosing Pond Plants
A pond without plants is like cake without icing. Pond plants fight algae, give fish a hiding place against predators, and beautify our own little slice of paradise to plunk down in at the end of a tiring day.
Outdoor Furniture: Exploring the Benefits of Teak
Of the many types of materials that are available for the construction of outdoor furniture, teak is often overlooked. This beautiful wood - of tropical origin - adds character and elegance to your outdoor design through a blending of nature and man-made elements which provide an outstanding aesthetic presentation to any yard.
9-11 Changed Everything for the Garden Tractor Business
While traveling the US and occasionally taking the back highways one might have seen an interesting trend. That is the proliferation of the Lawn Garden tractors.
Garden Benches - What They Are
Putting in a flower garden or any garden for that matter takes time and dedication. However, the result is gorgeous color, magnificent fragrance, wonderful foods to eat, and an overall sense of accomplishment.
How to Grow Bananas
If your grocer says, "Yes, we have no bananas. We have no bananas today," it isn't surprising since the banana is the world's second favorite fruit, surpassed in popularity only by the apple.
Growing Tomatoes Organically
Tomato Seeds Vs. Tomato Seedlings?Whether you start your own tomato seeds or buy tomato seedlings, growing them organically will produce healthier plants and better tasting tomatoes.
Growing Organic! Herbs, Flowers and Fruit
Creating no dig gardens on top of the soil gives you many immediate advantages over the usual garden. It is quick and easy It will improve the soil underneath the bed It is weed free and organicWhile my site has concentrated on the vegetable garden, the same garden building techniques can be used for flower beds, herbs and fruit trees.
Pruning Roses Secrets
Pruning your roses is one of the most needed and the most annoyingly difficult tasks that goes with proper rose care. It takes a steady hand the proper procedure to ensure the best possible roses that you can get.
Patio Design and Patio Furniture - The Use of Focal Points
A focal point is an important design element; it is a place where the eye naturally comes to rest. In a well-designed patio there is always a planned focal point, such as a large dining set, perhaps with a well-selected umbrella.
The Perfect Accent -- Miniature Roses
Indoors or out, you'll find miniature roses very easy to grow. These little guys sometimes get overlooked because they give off little fragrance, yet they can be the perfect visual accent to any home or garden.
What Is One Flower Benefit That You Know Of?
The biggest flower benefit of all is the fact that flowers make you happy.Research has proven this.
How to for Lawns - Mowing
How often you mow your lawn will depend on a number of factors. Firstly how much time you have to devote to your lawn's maintenance.
The Advantages of Silk Flowers
The silk flower is growing in popularity among young couples and families for many different reasons. Many event hosts or planners struggle over whether to choose fresh flowers or artificial flowers.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !