Blueberries are perennial flowering plants with blue– or purple–colored berries. They are classified in the section Cyanococcus within the genus Vaccinium. Vaccinium also includes cranberries, bilberries, and huckleberries. Commercial "blueberries" – including both wild ('lowbush') and cultivated ('highbush') blueberries – are native to North America. The highbush blueberry varieties were introduced into Europe during the 1930s.
Blueberries are usually prostrate shrubs that can vary in size from 10 centimeters (3.9 in) to 4 meters (13 ft) in height. In commercial production of blueberries, the species with small, pea–size berries growing on low–level bushes are known as "lowbush blueberries" (synonymous with "wild"), while the species with larger berries growing on taller cultivated bushes are known as "highbush blueberries".
Commercial "blueberries" – including both wild ('lowbush') and cultivated ('highbush') blueberries – are native to North America. The highbush blueberry varieties were introduced into Europe during the 1930s.
Blueberries are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally dark purple when ripe. Their flesh is pale-green coloured and the seeds are maroon.
The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish.
In 2016, world production of blueberries (low- and highbush combined) was 552,505 tonnes, led by the United States with 49% of total production and Canada with 32%. In 2016, Canada was the largest producer of wild blueberries, mainly in Quebec and the Atlantic provinces.