Vaccinium cylindraceum is a semi-evergreen shrub of narrow habit, often more tree-like in its native habitat; it can grow from 1 - 4 metres tall[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens.
N. Africa - Azores
Volcanic slopes; at elevations from 350 - 1,550 metres[
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
According to some reports, Vaccinium cylindraceum is not frost tolerant[
], but well-sited plants grown with the protection of a woodland garden, have been shown to survive several degrees of frost. As an example, a specimen is growing well in a woodland garden at Hilliers Arboretum in Hampshire, England (hardiness zone 7) and it was carrying a heavy crop of fruit when seen in September 1994[
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. This species is often found on neutral soils that are not too heavy in the wild, and are drought tolerant nce established. 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[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked. A reasonable size, up to 25mm long though not very fat, the black fruit is juicy with a mild but pleasant flavour[
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[