Farkleberry - Vaccinium arboreum
Farkleberry, also known as the sparkleberry, is indigenous throughout the southeastern United States, where it flourishes throughout zones 6 through 9. The deep purple berries take on a sparkling sheen and are attractive to wildlife. Humans rarely eat sparkleberries, instead choosing to plant them for their gorgeous, bell-shaped white flower, glossy foliage, and their shiny berries.
The plants can be grown like shrubs or trees, depending on your landscape style. They prefer slightly loamy, acidic soils. They do best in the sun and warm temperatures. The textured bark naturally peels back to display a ruddy underbark. The plant's mix of textures makes it a stand-out in a small garden or a specimen in an arid landscape. When pruned into a shrub form, farkleberry reaches heights between 6 and 20 feet. Left to grow into its tree-shape, farkleberry can grow up to 30 feet. The plant's width ranges from 4 to 15 feet. When in bloom, the flowers grow in vibrant sprays that appear quite stunning throughout a tree's canopy.
The leaves are lustrous green and elliptical. Simply looking at the thick, green foliage can make a gardener cool off on a hot day. In early spring, the white bell-like flowers drape downward in a romantic fashion. At the height of its display, the farkleberry attracts numerous butterflies. The plant fruits in the autumn but its berries can be minimal, making it a neat tree or shrub suitable for growth near patios or driveways. The tree grows at a medium rate similar to that of other Southern pine trees. Though the plant's blossoms are gentle and its leaves end in tiny, pointed tips, it is a highly durable landscape planting that resists high winds and periods of drought. Provide your farkleberry with warmth and moisture to keep it happy and blooming year after year.