Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with indigo-colored berries. They’re classified in the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium. Take a look below for 26 more fun and fascinating facts about blueberries.
1. Commercial blueberries are native to North America, while the highbush varieties weren’t introduced into Europe until the 1930s.
2. Blueberries are usually prostrate shrubs that can vary in size from 10 centimeters, or 3.9 inches, to 4 meters, or 13 feet, in height.
3. In the commercial production of blueberries, the smaller species are known as “lowbush blueberries”, while the larger species are known as “highbush blueberries.”
4. Blueberries prefer colder climates and they grown on the sandy, acidic soil.
5. Wild species of blueberry tolerate drought and fire. Certain types of blueberries produce more fruit after forest fires.
6. According to some studies, blueberries have been part of the human diet for at least 13,000 years.
7. Blueberries are known as the healthiest type of fruit, that is known to prevent development of numerous diseases.
8. Depending on the variety, blueberries have either deciduous or evergreen leaves. They are oval or lanceolate in shape. Deciduous plants change color of the leaves seasonally. Light green foliage is characteristic for the spring, while red foliage is characteristic for the fall.
9. Blueberries have bell-shaped flowers. They can be white, pink or red in color. Flowers contain both male and female reproductive organs.
10. Blueberry is a rare example of food that is naturally blue in color.
12. Blueberries are usually sold fresh, frozen or dried. They can be eaten raw or in the form of sweet desserts such as blueberry pie.
13. They’re used for the production of juices, jellies, jams and breakfast cereals.
14. Blueberries are used in the manufacture of delicious and healthy blueberry wine.
15. Blueberries produced from the highbush varieties are mostly used fresh, while blueberries produced from the lowbush varieties are often used in food processing.
16. Studies in rats showed that blueberries control blood pressure and reduce brain damage after experimentally induced stroke.
17. They improve memory and motor skills. They’re known as anti-aging fruit because they delay senescence of cells.
18. The United States is the biggest manufacturer of blueberries in the world. More than 500 million pounds of blueberries are produced in the United States each year.
19. The lifespan of blueberries depends on the variety and environmental conditions. Under ideal conditions, blueberries can survive up to 60 years.
20. Peak blueberry season in most of the United States runs from mid June to mid August. However, Florida blueberries have their peak production season in March and April.
21. Blueberries freeze in just 4 minutes.
22. Fresh blueberry consumption per person more than doubled between 2007 and 2012, from 0.5 to 1.2 pounds.
23. Since “wild” is a marketing term generally used for all low-bush blueberries, it’s not an indication that those blueberries are free from pesticides.
24. Although blueberries were traditionally hand-picked with berry-picking rakes, modern farmers use machine harvesters that shake the fruit off the bush of cultivated highbush blueberries, while new machines are being developed for wild, lowbush blueberries.
25. In Peru, there are several private initiatives for the development of blueberries. Also, the government, through its agency Sierra Exportadora, has launched the program “Peru Berries” to take advantage of the existence of the ideal soil and climate required by the blueberry.
26. Chile is the biggest producer of blueberries in South America and the biggest exporter to the Northern Hemisphere, with an estimated area of 14,500 hectares, or 36,000 acres, in 2014.