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Here is a wealth of information and advice on growing blueberries, cranberries, lingonberries and dozens of lesser-known relatives, otherwise known as the vacciniums. Jennifer Trehane explores the historical, ornamental and edible aspects of Vaccinium, a diverse genus of more than 400 species that grow worldwide from Malaysia to Scandinavia. The culinary importance of these berry-bearing plants is well known: who has not savored blueberry pie or drunk a refreshing glass of cranberry juice?
Too few people, however, are aware of the ornamental potential of vacciniums. Many of the plants described in these pages have brightly colored young growth, flowers that are sometimes scented and either evergreen or deciduous leaves of brilliant fall color. Some vacciniums become large, bold shrubs, while others remain small and compact, making them ideal for containers and small gardens. The author lists dozens of little-known species deserving more attention, and all who read this book will find a range of plants suitable for each garden habitat.
The author sorts out huckleberries from bilberries, highbush blueberries from rabbiteye and lowbush blueberries and cowberries from cranberries. Detailing their cultivation, harvest and uses, she also offers expert guidance on pests and diseases while providing a fascinating summary of the commercial methods used to grow these wonderful plants.