SPARKLEBERRY, FARKLEBERRY Vaccinium arboreum
Vaccinium arboreum (sparkleberry or farkleberry) is a species of Vaccinium native to the southeastern and south-central United States, from southern Virginia west to southeastern Nebraska, south to Florida and eastern Texas, and north to Illinois.
It is a shrub (rarely a small tree) growing to 3–5 m (7.5-12.5 feet) rarely 9 m) (22.5 feet) tall, with a diameter at breast height of up to 35 cm (14 inches). The leaves are evergreen in the south of the range, but deciduous further north where winters are colder.
Sparkleberry grows on sand dunes, hammocks, dry hillsides, meadows, and in rocky woods. It also grows on a variety of moist sites such as wet bottomlands and along creek banks.
The flowers are white, bell-shaped, and 3–4 mm (0.12-0.16 inches) in diameter. The fruit is a round dry berry about 6 mm (0.24 inches) in diameter, green at first, black when ripe, edible but bitter and tough. They are eaten by various wildlife.
Hardiness zones: 6-9
Seeds per pack: 10
Germination: These seeds should be cold stratified for 3 months. Place in a ziplock bag with a damp paper towel, and place in the fridge. After the cold stratification, push the seeds onto the surface of an acid medium (such as peat-moss and silica sand), watered, drained and covered with clean plastic and then set into a bright window (no direct sun). Do not bury the seeds are they require light for germination. The seeds should germinate in 2 to 8 weeks. should be stratified for 3 months, ie stored damp and very cool such as in the fridge. If they are stored dry and warm they will be dead after a year.