Vaccinium corymbosum is a deciduous shrub growing to 6–12 feet (1.8–3.7 m) tall and wide. It is often found in dense thickets. The dark glossy green leaves are elliptical and up to 2 inches (5 cm) long. In autumn, the leaves turn to a brilliant red, orange, yellow, and/or purple.
The flowers are long bell- or urn-shaped white to very light pink, 1⁄3 of an inch (8.5 mm) long.
The fruit is a 1⁄4-to-1⁄2-inch (6.4 to 12.7 mm) diameter blue-black berry. This plant is found in wooded or open areas with moist acidic soils.
The species is tetraploid and does not self-pollinate. Most cultivars have a chilling requirement greater than 800 hours.