Farkleberry, Sparkleberry, Tree-Huckleberry

Vaccinium arboreum

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vaccinium (vak-SIN-ee-um) (Info)
Species: arboreum (ar-BOR-ee-um) (Info)
Synonym:Batodendron arboreum




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)

12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)

15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)

20-30 ft. (6-9 m)

30-40 ft. (9-12 m)


USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring

Mid Spring



Good Fall Color

Provides winter interest

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.1 to 5.5 (strongly acidic)

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From semi-hardwood cuttings

By simple layering

By air layering

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama

Cullman, Alabama

Daphne, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Bartow, Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Hampton, Florida

Keystone Heights, Florida

Newberry, Florida

Ocala, Florida

Trenton, Florida

Fort Valley, Georgia

Mandeville, Louisiana

Hickory Flat, Mississippi

Apex, North Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Dickson, Tennessee

Arlington, Texas

Broaddus, Texas

Colmesneil, Texas

Flint, Texas

Gause, Texas

Kountze, Texas

New Caney, Texas

Sugar Land, Texas

Willis, Texas

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 18, 2012, Texaspatriot wrote:

When i moved to Kountze i had never seen a huckleberry tree before. they were growing all along a creek in my backyard. i showed them to a friend of mine and he told me what they were and how good they were. I ended up making jelly out of them and more than one person has said it was better jelly than may haw. i have since found a larger species on my property that the berries don't ripen until fall but they are tart. Also great with blue bell vanilla ice cream.


On Jun 12, 2012, pleasant7 from Olive Branch, MS wrote:

We have many Sparkleberrys growing wild on our acreage in Benton County located in the hills of North Mississippi. What a beautiful speciman!


On Jan 6, 2011, Fires_in_motion from Vacherie, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

This tree is terrific in many ways, to the point where I'm fairly confident in calling it the best li'l tree in North America. It's basically a big blueberry shrub with small black berries instead of fleshy blue ones. The fall foliage is a dazzling crimson, as it is on blueberry bushes, though the fall leaves don't cling as tenaciously as do fall blueberry leaves. The tree sends out runners several feet (to yards) from the parent tree; I am currently trying to pot one up, but am not too optimistic. I also collected many seeds from the huge 25' (my estimate) one at Northlake Nature Center in Mandeville, LA. Apparently this species likes sandier, drier soil than what we have here on the west (south) bank of the Mississippi River, but I'm going to try to grow these little bad boys anyway... read more


On Jul 1, 2007, pixelphoto from Fort Valley, GA wrote:

Related to bluebrries but the berries are somewhat tart.
Beautiful flowers in spring and showy color change of foliage in fall.
Spindley and crooked trunk grows well in the understory of pines we have in Georgia on border line of 7b 8a USDA map.
We literally have thousands of them on our 37 acres of land.


On Dec 6, 2006, JMBreland from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I delighted upon discovering wild specimens in the forested ravine behind our house here in Mobile, AL. I'm selectively clearing the area and leaving a few good-sized specimens to grace my future woodland garden. It's something special. *smile*


On May 30, 2005, SudieGoodman from Broaddus, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

Sam Rayburn Lake, Zone 8b:

Ahhh, sweet memories of post-depression years when my brother, and uncle who was 1 year older than I picked Huckleberries and found them to be very tastey! Food was scarce in those days because of World War II.

Huckleberry is similiar in taste to Blueberry; both are delicious on pancakes, in muffins, or eaten fresh.
These wonderful trees grow wild in southeast, Texas!
Use the berries in cereal! It is simply delicious.

Remember Huckleberry Finn? LOL


On Jun 12, 2004, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

Sparkleberry is one of the most beautiful native evergreen bushes growing in this area (Zone 8a.) It produces lovely small bell-shaped flowers in early spring that quickly develop into small green berries (oops, I should have carried the camera with me on that walk!). Its growth pattern reminds me of a Japanese flower arrangement - twisted, asymmetrical, graceful. I've seen primitive chairs made of its wood sold in a local gift shop. It's primarily an understory grower that tolerates drought, high temperates, some direct sunlight, is ignored by deer, and is a joy to see.


On Jun 11, 2004, tweek from Columbia, SC wrote:

I too find it to be a slow grower. In a logged area, this plant has become widespread. It grows in thick thickets in a bottom area close to the water table. It is found sparsely on the adjacent hills.

By accident, I have found this tree to be interesting for woodworking. The grain is very tight and the wood has a creamy color with a pinkish cast. The wood is extremely strong. If older specimens could be found, it would make a nice baseball bat or golfclub head.

I just identified the tree this year by the bell-shaped flowers.



On Jul 21, 2003, Terry from Murfreesboro, TN (Zone 7a) wrote:

A slow-growing, drought tolerant native that deserves to be grown more widely. The bitter fruit are not as desirable as some other fruits of this family, but the pretty exfoliating bark, tolerance to dry and somewhat-alkaline soil makes it a great plant for the landscape, especially if you have a woodland area.