This species is closely related to Vaccinium hirtum and may be no more than a larger, geographic form of that species[
Vaccinium hirtum smallii (A.Gray) Maxim.
Vaccinium kansaiense Koidz.
Vaccinium versicolor (Koidz.) Nakai
Vaccinium smallii is a much-branched deciduous shrub usually growing from 50 - 150cm tall, sometimes to 3 metres[
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food. The fruit is sold in local markets[
E. Asia - Russian Far East, cantral and northern Japan, Korea.
Mountain slopes; subalpine shrubberies, thickets, coniferous woods, as well as edges of beech woods ; often on stumps and rotting logs; at elevations from 900 - 2,200 metres[
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[
]. Ften found on drier, sandy soils in the wild. 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[
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
Fruit - raw or cooked.[
]. The reddish-black to black fruit is about 5 - 14mm in diameter[
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[