Deerberry Shrubs Blooming in the Mountains of PA

Deerberry occurs as a small shrub in the undergrowth of the oak-white pine-hickory forests of the Northeastern United States. In Pennsylvania this colony of deerberry is predominately 2-3 feet tall, but one shrub has grown to about 6 feet in height.

Deerberry blooming in the woods of Pennsylvania.

Deerberry blooming in the woods of Pennsylvania.

Foliage consists of alternating leaves that grow to larger sizes nearer the distal end of the branches. Oval, pointed leaves measure 1-3 inches long.

Leaves of the deerberry shrub are entire, alternating, oval, pointed and pale on the underside.

Leaves of the deerberry shrub are entire, alternating, oval, pointed and pale on the underside.

Deerberry flowers hang from racemes that have smaller leaves and bracts.

Deerberry flowers hang from racemes that have smaller leaves and bracts.

Hanging blossoms of Deerberry, Vaccinium stamineum, have flower stems longer than the blossoms. The light green, cup-shaped calyx contains five white petals that flare out to the side.

Stamens protrude beyond the edge of the deerberry flower bell, which alludes to the species name.

Stamens protrude beyond the edge of the deerberry flower bell, which alludes to the species name.

Deerberries are inedible, so perhaps the value of this shrub is in providing habitat for wildlife. It grows in shady areas and, apparently, is not browsed by deer.

2 thoughts on “Deerberry Shrubs Blooming in the Mountains of PA

  1. Deerberry flowers are exquisite! The flowers remind me of a little fairy’s hat! Thank you for the lovely pictures that you posted. I identified these flowers from them. (There is a bush growing in a narrow wild strip of land behind a local shopping mall near me.)

  2. Hey Carol,

    You’re welcome! I think they’re really cute flowers, too! Some years our deerberry shrubs bloom like crazy and other years not so much. Just like a lot of flowering shrubs or trees, I suppose.

    I wonder what else could be blooming in that wild area behind your mall? What state is your location?

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