The highbush blueberry is an angiosperm native to Texas. It grows to a small-medium shrub and is common in open woods, sandy lake, swamps and stream margins in Eastern and South Eastern Texas. The common names of the plant are highbush blueberry, swamp blueberry, Arkansas blueberry, and Northern High-bush blueberry. The scientific name of the shrub is Vaccinium corymbosum or simply V. arkansanum. The plant generally grows from northern Indiana and north-eastern Illinois to northern Texas and adjacent Oklahoma and south to Florida and Nova Scotia (“Index of Species Information,” n.p.). The plant’s anatomy is similar to that of other angiosperms. It consists of flowers and leaves and various meristems where growth occurs. The plant undergoes pollination and fertilisation to form both the seeds and the fruit. The highbush blueberry’s resource requirements includes acidic soils of pH<6.8, medium water needs, sunny and part shade light, and dry, moist or wet soil moisture (“Plant Database,” n.p.). Soils that support this plant lie between rocky to organic peats and wet to dry.
The ecological significance of the highbush blueberries is they provide food to numerous bird species during winter and early fall. The songbird is one such bird that feeds heavily on the plant’s fruits. Large mammals such as the chipmunks, cottontail, and the black bear also feast on the highbush blueberry. The plant, therefore, assists in maintaining ecological equilibrium and sustaining food chains. The physiological adaptations of the plant include producing seeds and fruits with true embryos with the latter acting as storage for food and the former as protection for the embryo. Another adaptation of this plant is its symbiotic relationship with the endomycorrhizal fungi (“The Highbush Blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum,” n.p.). This fungi assists the plant in water absorption since he plant lacks root hairs. Other adaptations of the highbush blueberry include a light sensory system, and a waxy cuticle to prevent it from drying.
“Index of Species Information.” Vaccinium corymbosum, www.fs.fed.us/database/feis/plants/shrub/vaccor/all.html.
“Plant Database.” Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center – The University of Texas at Austin, www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=vaco.
Johnson, Jordan. “The Highbush Blueberry Vaccinium corymbosum.” The Highbush Blueberry, Apr. 2012, bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/s2012/johnson_jor3/adaptations.htm.