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Looks Like a Blueberry, But It is Not a Blueberry

A shrub often mistaken for high-bush blueberry because it grows in the same habitat and also has white bell shaped-blossoms that bloom in the spring is swamp sweet bells.

Sometimes called fetterbush, its blooms are clustered at the tip of its branches in one sided four-inch long racemes. Bees, butterflies and other pollinators visit the flowers for nectar. These blossoms grow into woody capsules that drop seeds in the fall.

This shrub can be found in wetlands and along the edge of streams from the mid-Atlantic States to the Gulf Coast States. There are many species of plants with the name “fetterbush” with similar characteristics, some have pink blossoms and some are evergreen.

The next time you take a walk in the woods in the spring and see white bell-like blossoms, don’t assume the flowers are from blueberry.

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