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
Synonym:Vaccinium

Category:

Edible Fruits and Nuts

Height:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

Spacing:

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

Hardiness:

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

Danger:

N/A

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Foliage:

Deciduous

Other details:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:

4.5 or below (very acidic)

Patent Information:

Non-patented

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

Regional

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

Mountain View, California

Augusta, Georgia

Boerne, Texas

Gardeners' Notes:

2
positives
0
neutrals
0
negatives
RatingContent
Positive

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 p... read more

Positive

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.