Dry Soil Type of Wild Blueberry Selected from a High and Dry Location with Heavy Yields of Small Dark Blue Fruit
This natural hybrid of a low and high bush wild blueberry was found on a mound of sand in central Michigan at my families first farm. The discovery was a non discovery type of scenario where the plant kept spreading despite the best intentions of keeping it mowed down to prevent it from growing into a farm road way. I finally took a few pieces of the stolons to my tree crop farm. The original plant rarely had any fruit on it. I planted it on a hill that had little vegetation and a sand base to it. As the bush matured the fruit quantity increased dramatically. The fruit production is under the leaves protecting it from predation. The plants are now thriving being on a sandy hillside on what would be considered the opposite of almost all cultivated blueberries-sand and toasty hot.
"Madeline" is a small fruited but incredibly productive and delicious dark blue almost black blueberry with a rich strong flavor. By itself it is self fertile and spreads slowly outward in kind of a multi-stemmed clone. Grown from seed you can make your own selection from this self pollinating plant as well as a population of wild dryland type of blueberries. It is not hard to do really. This selection allows blueberries to be grown in places where most blueberries just would not survive without irrigation and acidifying the soil. This is the most adaptable blueberry and could be grown in new locations outside of normal blueberry cultivation. Plus the flavor is by far the richest and darkest blue which is much like the wild Maine and Michigan blueberries. Madeline provides both a cultivar level plant as well as a varietal level selection that can easily be rooted in situ as the plants spreads slowly outward. Pruning is necessary to some extent to allow greater light penetration within the thick canopy of this variety of which the berries are found underneath the branches hidden from view. (This is the opposite of almost all named varieties of blueberries.) This prevents bird predation. Berries ripen over a month period starting the first of July.
"Madeline" blueberry comes with 2000 seeds of itself and a 1-2 ft. tall stolon cutting which is partially or fully rooted. This will allow you to root it quite easily just by planting it in the soil in a permanent location.
Here is how to grow it from seed: Sprinkle the seed in a flat filled with a smooth flat surface of peat moss or similiar soil mix. Lightly cover the seeds with sand just enough to hold them in place. Put outside or store in a polyhouse all winter. The cold weather will naturally stratify the seeds for 60-90 days. Seedlings emerge slowly as spring progresses over a two month period. These can be plucked out (note: they are very tiny) and put in pots or kept in the flat for one full year before transplanting. Sometimes it takes two years to really pop the seeds because of the hard seed coat. So do not throw out the flat thinking you failed. Another method is to put the seeds in a bag of half and half sand and peat moss. Store for 90-120 days in the fridge from 33-38F . After the cold period, sprinkle the mixture on top of a flat then wait. Most will come up in one year. A portion will come up the second year.
Starts shipping 10-15-22 with stolons from the mother plants. Seeds can be sent immediately if you request it. There is no additional shipping charge if you ship separately. Note: Stolons are partially or fully rooted and dormant when sent either in the fall or spring depending on your order and when it is placed. Stolons usually are a root system with no hair roots or branched roots. These develop as you plant it. I try to dig pieces of root that I know will grow when you get them. Seeds are refrigerated throughout the summer and fall but have not had dormancy applied to them or moist peat. The seeds are processed in July and then cold stored refrigerated. The seeds are not overly dried to prevent damage to the embryo.
|Genus & Species||Vaccinium angustifolium x corymbosum|
|Hardiness||-30F or more|
|Width (ft)||Stolons out to as wide as 10 ft. outwards. Stolons can be cut to move the plant in new locations.|
|Pollination Requirements||Bumblebees, honeybees, self fertile|
|Soil||Sandy or sandy loam, slightly acidic, not a wetland blueberry but may tolerate it but no one has tested that yet.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Easiest of the blueberries to grow. Plants produce fruit under the foliage and is generally not consumed by birds. Worthwhile growing from seed and may spawn a new generation of drought tolerant blueberries that do not require irrigation and spray. Heavy producing but kind of slow to pick due to the small size of the berries.|