Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Southern Highbush Blueberry
Vaccinium virgatum 'O'Neal'

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vaccinium (vak-SIN-ee-um) (Info)
Species: virgatum (vir-GA-tum) (Info)
Cultivar: O'Neal

Synonym:Cyanococcus amoenus
Synonym:Cyanococcus virgatus
Synonym:Vaccinium amoenum

One vendor has this plant for sale.

2 members have or want this plant for trade.

Edible Fruits and Nuts

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)
8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

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:
Full Sun


Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
4.5 or below (very acidic)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From softwood cuttings
From semi-hardwood cuttings
From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:
N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed

Click thumbnail
to view:

By Farmerdill
Thumbnail #1 of Vaccinium virgatum by Farmerdill

By Farmerdill
Thumbnail #2 of Vaccinium virgatum by Farmerdill


2 positives
No neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive lemonwater On Feb 25, 2008, lemonwater from Mountain View, CA wrote:

O'Neal only requires about 400-500 hours of chilling so it's a great choice for warmer climates. It is a very productive, early season southern highbush variety, which produces very tasty fruit. It is said that it is one of the best tasting southern highbush varieties (but I only have another Sunshine blueberry to compare it with).

The plant is both edible as well as decorative, and is a very attractive shrub. It's semi-deciduous; in mild winter areas it may or may not remain evergreen. Despite being in zone 9, mine lost its leaves last season, but the red branches still added some colour and interest to my backyard.

I've found this plant to be very rewarding. Despite having never grown blueberries before (and not having a ton of gardening experience), this plant has been very easy to grow. I haven't had any problems with pests or diseases either, (except for a few of my blueberries being stolen by the squirrels but they didn't catch on until the end of the season). It really only requires acidic soil high in organic matter, light, and constantly moist soil which I never have to worry about since I have clay.

Positive Farmerdill On May 30, 2004, Farmerdill from Augusta, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

O'Neal has an approximate chilling requirement of 400-500 hours for the flowers, and slightly more for leaves. The bulk of the crop ripens later than Star. O'Neal blooms over an extended period of time, starting very early in the spring. Productive with large, medium-blue fruit. Released by North Carolina in 1987.


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

Mountain View, California
Augusta, Georgia
Boerne, Texas

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