Northern Highbush: High Chill

Vaccinium corymbosum

Zones 3–7 / 800-1,000 Chill Hrs.

Northern Highbush are high chill varieties and the most widely planted blueberries, popular with home gardeners throughout the Northern U.S. and Southern Canada. There are more than 100 named varieties, out of which Fall Creek has selected 21 of the best, allowing gardeners to select a combination that will produce delicious crops continuously over a 100-day period. These varieties display bush shapes from short and compact to tall and open. Fall foliage colors and unique winter wood tones complement gardens and home landscapes. The berries range in size from ¼" to over 1" in diameter, and in color from almost black to light powder blue. Northern Highbush requires a minimum of 800 chilling hours for proper fruit set. All cultivars are self-fertile but will produce better crops if more than one variety is planted.

Note About Outstanding Characteristics:  Our variety charts include a column titled "Outstanding Characteristics."  While each variety has multiple strong characteristics, we've added this column to simply highlight one special attribute that our team thinks stands out about each variety. Need a primer on how to easily select varieties?  Visit the Blueberries Simplified section of our website.

Denotes varieties licensed to Fall Creek Farm & Nursery, Inc. Please refer to our Variety Charts for license details.

  Fruit Bush Habit Outstanding Characteristic
Variety Zone Season Size Flavor Mature Size & Shape Fall Color
Northern Highbush
U.S. Plant Patent No. 15,185
Zone 4-7 Fresh, Tangy 5-6 Ft, Rounded Upright
Aurora can now stake its claim as the latest ripening Northern Highbush. Selected for its improved flavor and large berry size, Aurora can extend a gardener’s bounty well into September. Fall Creek is the exclusive licensed nursery for Aurora sales in states west of the Mississippi River and Canadian provinces excluding British Columbia. Licensor: Michigan State University Exclusive Territory(s): US (West of Mississippi River), Canada Non-Exclusive Territory(s): Europe.
Northern Highbush
Zone 4-7 Classic, Sweet 4-6 Ft, Open, Upright
Bluecrop is considered the best all around variety for adaptability, long production period, high yield fruit and disease resistance. There are other varieties with better ornamental value but few perform better in the garden. Bluecrop is perhaps the most widely planted variety in the U.S.
Northern Highbush
Zone 4-7 Delicately Sweet 3-5 Ft, Compact Globe
Bluegold is compact and perfect for landscaping. Fall foliage and winter wood are a golden yellow, followed by bright-white blooms in the spring. The sky blue colored berries form large clusters that are easy to pick and are wonderful for baking.
Northern Highbush
Zone 4-7 Delicately Sweet 6-7 Ft, Upright
Bluejay grows rapidly and is relatively easy to establish and looks great in the landscape. Long, loose clusters of light blue fruit will hang on the bush for long periods without loss of quality, making it one of the best berries for freezing, pies, and even for canning. Light green colored leaves in summer precede bright yellow canes and branches in winter.
Northern Highbush
Zone 3-7 Classic, Fresh 4-6 Ft, Open, Upright
An old favorite and versatile variety, Blueray performs particularly well in areas with hot summers or very cold winters, and produces high quality berries with outstanding dessert flavor. The stunning rosy pink flowers turn bright white when in full bloom.
Northern Highbush
Zone 4-7 Full, Robust 5-7 F, Slightly Spreading
Chandler holds the distinction of being the world’s largest blueberry. The long ripening season will provide gardeners with a bounty of flavorful, fresh picked fruit for up to six weeks. Eaten by the handful or presented with a specialty dessert, Chandler will be a favorite.
Northern Highbush
Zone 5-7 Fully Juicy, Robust 4-6 Ft, Upright
Darrow boasts one of the largest berries of all cultivars, yielding fruit that will cover a quarter. The berries are slightly flat and light blue with a memorable robust flavor, making them well worth every gardener’s effort.
Northern Highbush
U.S. Plant Patent No. 15,103
Zone 5-7 Crisp, Sweet 3-4 Ft, Stocky
NEW! Draper has become one the most popular varieties for small u-pick and large farms alike. Now home gardeners can enjoy this early mid- season ripening variety that yields large, crisp, light colored berries that are super easy and quick to pick! Fall Creek is the exclusive licensed nursery for Draper sales in states west of the Mississippi River and Canadian provinces excluding British Columbia. Licensor: Michigan State University Exclusive Territory(s): US (West of Mississippi River), Canada Non-Exclusive Territory(s): Europe
Northern Highbush
Zone 4-7 Savory, Sweet 4-6 Ft, Stocky, Upright
Duke is the most widely planted early ripening northern variety and for good reason. It is a heavy, consistent producer with an attractive, firm, light blue, high quality berry. Duke blooms late but ripens early which protects the blossoms from spring frosts. Branches may droop to the ground when laden with fruit, prompting many gardeners to use a simple trellis as support.
Northern Highbush
Zone 4-7 Zesty 4-6 Ft, Upright
With this variety, home gardeners can enjoy fresh berries through September. Bright burgundy colored wood accents the gray-green foliage and sky blue berries. The late bloom period that avoids most spring frosts and the typically heavy bud set warrants extra pruning, but the bountiful crops of larger fruit are worth the effort. The berry can be quite tangy unless picked fully ripe .
Northern Highbush
Zone 5-7 Sweet & Juicy 4-6 Ft, Upright
First to ripen and early to bloom, this upright bush produces stout canes with bright red wood, while displaying large glossy green leaves in the summer and brilliant mixed red colors in the fall. Berries are light blue and large in size. Plant where blueberries are well suited and avoid frost pockets.
Northern Highbush
Zone 4-7 Lush, Sweet 6-8 Ft, Upright
One of the oldest and most widely grown of all varieties, Jersey is a favorite for home gardeners who want an easy to grow bush. Jersey produces late season crops year after year. This bush tolerates a wide range of soil types, and the small to medium sized, sweet tasting fruit is a favorite for baking.
Northern Highbush
Zone 5-8 Uniquely Robust 4-6 Ft, Open, Spreading
Legacy is a release from the USDA Blueberry Research Station in New Jersey. It keeps many of its leaves through mild winters, offering a very different look in the landscape. Foliage turns crimson in colder climates, but here on the West Coast the leaves stay green with lighter fall hues. Legacy is both a vigorous grower and heavy producer, rating as one of the best flavored varieties in USDA trials.
Northern Highbush
U.S. Plant Patent No. 15,146
Zone 4-7 Balanced, Juicy, Robust 7-8 Ft, Upright, Vigorous
NEW! Liberty is the hottest new variety! It produces firm, distinctly flavored, light colored berries that pick easily and ripen into late season time frames. Liberty is adaptable and grows vigorously. Fall Creek is the exclusive licensed nursery for Liberty sales in states west of the Mississippi River and Canadian provinces excluding British Columbia. Licensor: Michigan State University Exclusive Territory(s): US (West of Mississippi River), Canada Non-Exclusive Territory(s): Europe
Northern Highbush
Zone 3-7 Fresh, Sweet 4-7 Ft, Spreading, Upright
Northland is the most cold-hardy Highbush variety. It is easy to grow and adaptable to many different soil types. This very productive variety has very high yields when mature. The berries are excellent for jams and baking because of their high sugar content. The bright yellow wood and compact shape makes Northland a good candidate for landscaping, especially when grouped with other compact varieties like Bluetta or Patriot.
Northern Highbush
Zone 3-7 Delicately Sweet 3-5 Ft, Open, Spreading
Patriot was selected for home gardeners who desire a cold-hardy variety that bears consistent crops. Patriot’s low growing bush reflects its partial lowbush parentage. It is adaptable to many soil types and may perform better in wetter soils than many other varieties. Patriot makes an excellent container and landscape variety with its showy white blooms in the spring, dark green summer foliage, and fiery orange-red fall colors.
Northern Highbush
Zone 4-7 Excellent Rich Flavor 4-6 Ft, Upright, Vigorous
Reka was selected and developed in New Zealand. It is vigorous, fast growing, and adapts well to a wide range of northern climates and soil types. Gardeners will marvel at Reka’s bountiful yields of early ripening, medium sized, exceptional tasting berries. Burgundy red fall color is an added landscape bonus!
Northern Highbush
Zone 5-7 Robust & Fruity 4-6 Ft, Upright
Spartan is one of the most attractive, easy to pick and best flavored blueberries, making it a favorite at farm market stands and with home gardeners. Spartan can be particular about soil types, requiring a site with light, well drained soils and abundant organic matter.
Northern Highbush
Zone 4-7 Mildly Sweet 4-6 Ft, Stocky, Upright
Toro continues to amaze us with its easy to pick berries that hang like grapes from the stocky bush. While not as fast a grower as some of the other varieties, Toro has outstanding ornamental qualities. The flowers turn from hot pink to bright white and contrast nicely with the bronze colored spring foliage. Deep green summer foliage turns to the brightest of reds in the fall.