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 Vaccinium myrtillus subsp. var.  Bilberry, European blueberry, blaeberry, whortleberry, whinberry (or winberry), etc
Bilberry in flower
Habit: shrub
Height: to
Width: to
Height: cm to warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Width: warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki. to warning.png"" cannot be used as a page name in this wiki.
Lifespan: perennial
Origin: Europe, N Asia
Exposure: part-sun
Water: wet, moist
Features: evergreen, deciduous, edible, fruit
Hidden fields, interally pass variables to right place
Minimum Temp: °Fwarning.png"°F" is not a number.
USDA Zones: 3 to 9.5
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Ericaceae > Vaccinium myrtillus var. ,

Bilberry is a name used for several species of Vaccinium (genus) that bear fruit on low-growing shrubs. The species usually referred to as Bilberry is Vaccinium myrtillus, also called the European blueberry. The bilberry has many other names, including blaeberry, whortleberry, whinberry (or winberry), wimberry, myrtle blueberry, fraughan, and black-hearts.

Bilberries can be found growing in damp, acidic soils. North American wild and cultivated blueberries and huckleberries are in the same Vaccinium genus, but the inside of their fruit is light green/white, while the inside of the bilberry is red or purple, often staining the fingers and lips. The bilberry also produced singly or in pairs on the plants, while blueberries come in clusters.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Vaccinium myrtillus, Linn. Whortleberry. Bilberry. Low glabrous shrub with sharply angled branches: lvs. 1/2 – 2/3 in. long, ovate or oval, serrate, conspicuously reticulate-veined, glabrous, thin and shining: corolla globular ovate; calyx-limb almost entire: berries black, nodding. Mountainous regions, Eu., Asia, possibly N. Amer.—"Generally used as an article of diet and in making of drinks, particularly in the Old World. It is from this species that the common name whortleberry is derived. It is not of much economic importance in Amer." The red-fruited form of the Rocky Mts., and the N. W. has been separated as V. scoparium, Leiberg, and is so recognized by Piper and by Coulter & Nelson. Its occurrence in the trade is doubtful.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.

Other Bilberry species

The name bilberry is the common name sometimes applied to other Vaccinium species, including:

More information about this species can be found on the genus page.


Bilberries are rarely cultivated but fruits are sometimes collected from wild plants growing on publicly accessible lands, notably in Fennoscandia, Scotland, Ireland and Poland.


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Pests and diseases

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Bilberry is used as a food plant by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species - see list of Lepidoptera which feed on Vaccinium.



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