Acosta spicata Lour.
Andromeda chinensis Lodd.
Pieris divaricata H.Lév.
Pieris lucida H.Lév.
Pieris ovalifolia denticulata H.Lév.
Vaccinium chinense (Lodd.) Champ. ex Benth.
Vaccinium malaccense Wight
Vaccinium spicatum (Lour.) Poir.
Common Name: Sea Bilberry
Vaccinium bracteatum is a much-branched, evergreen shrub or a small tree; it can grow 2 - 6 metres tall, occasionally reaching 9 metres[
The plant is commonly harvested from the wild for local use as a food and is also used as a medicine,
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia.
Low elevations in mountains[
]. Forests, thickets, grassy places at roadsides; at elevations from 400 - 1,500 metres, occasionally to 1,900 metres[
Vaccinium bracteatum is only hardy in mild winter regions of the Temperate zone, able to withstand occasional short-lived temperatures falling to around -8°c[
Requires a moist but freely-draining lime free soil, preferring one that is rich in peat or a light loamy soil with added leaf-mould[
]. Prefers a very acid soil with a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6, plants soon become chlorotic when lime is present. Succeeds in full sun or light shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[
]. Requires shelter from strong winds[
Dislikes root disturbance, plants are best grown in pots until being planted out in their permanent positions[
This species is closely related to Vaccinium sprengelii[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked[
]. The dark purple fruit is used to colour cooked rice[
]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter[
The plant has been used in the treatment of cancer[
The fruit is a rich source of anthcyanins and polyphenols and has a strong antioxidant activity. It is of potential value in the prevention and treatment of many diseases related to ageing, including cancer[
Seed - sow late winter in a greenhouse in a lime-free potting mix and only just cover the seed[
]. Stored seed might require a period of up to 3 months cold stratification[
]. Another report says that it is best to sow the seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe[
]. Once they are about 5cm tall, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August in a frame[
]. Slow and difficult.
Layering in late summer or early autumn[
]. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer[
]. Takes 18 months[
Division of suckers in spring or early autumn[