Deerberry Shrub - Vaccinium stamineum
The deerberry shrub, a close relative to the blueberry and cranberry, is a varied plant that is easily manageable. It flowers with a bell-shaped white flower that grows long, yellow stamens. The leaves itself are a yellow-green color and ovular shaped. Both the flower and leaves are on the smaller side, which adds to the cuteness of the plant. When it sprouts berries, the berries are a wine red color with a purple hue. This attractive shrub is a welcome addition to any mixed berry perimeter or shrubbery. It is also used for a more natural landscape as it is an important part of the diet of many wild animals including chipmunks, songbirds, and white-tailed deer. Known for its resilience, the deerberry shrub can survive long droughts. It prefers sandy soil with a little lime as possible. Once it is established, it can not only survive on as little as 30 inches of water but even prefers drier soil. When first growing, the shrub works best in partial sun, but once it matures, the deerberry shrub can thrive in full sun or partial shade. The plant survives best in a hardy planting zone of anywhere from 5 to 9. Despite a small average height and spread of around 5 feet, a deerberry shrub can be trained to grow taller, with a maximum height of 15 feet. Its crooked and twisted branches give it a unique look, along with its propensity for multiple trunks in a single plant. Training it to grow tall is fairly easy, and its singular look can make it the centerpiece of any garden. The shrub is also popular with many bakers. The plant's berry is tart which makes it a favorite for pie fillings or to mix with blueberries as a way to cut the sweetness.