What does ‘Herbert’, ‘Stanley’, ‘Ivanhoe’, and ‘Pink Lemonade’ all have in common? They’re all blueberry varieties! Most of us probably think of a blueberry as just a blueberry. However, just like other fruits, there is great diversity in blueberry varieties. As we gear up for another delicious blueberry season, we wanted to share some interesting blueberry facts with you.
There are four types of blueberry plants: highbush, lowbush, half-high, and rabbiteye. These varieties have been developed relatively recently, with blueberries only being found in the wild before the 1900s. People would eat them fresh or dry them to use later in cooking or as medicine. With the advancement of farming and cultivation, we now have access to their taste and nutritional value in our daily lives.
The highbush is the most common blueberry plant, growing to about six feet tall and can withstand cold winters, needing chill hours just like Georgia peaches. The lowbush varieties can withstand even cooler conditions and grow well in Canada and more northern areas.
Halfhigh varieties are (you guessed it!) a cross between high and lowbush plants. Rabbiteye and a few hybrid berries are grown in southern regions.
Michigan is known for the highest quality berries due to soil conditions, drainage, rainfall, and its ideal location on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan. The blueberries we bring you are directly from Michigan and are highbush varieties. Michigan grows over 30 different varieties of blueberries on over 20,000 acres of blueberry land. Some of our blueberry varieties are ‘Duke’, ‘Blue crop’, and ‘Draper’.
You can look forward to these plump, juicy and sweet blueberries at the Tree-Ripe truck this summer. See you at the truck!