Shrubs with Simple, Alternate Leaves, Finely Toothed Margin )
Heath Family (Ericaceae)
Habitat: Upper Montane and subalpine
Height: 20-30 cm
Description: Our most common bilberry, Dwarf bilberry (V. caespitosum) is a low lying shrub found on higher slopes on both sides of the divide. Its leaves are 2.5 cm long, narrow (almost willow-like), with fine teeth along the margin. It can be distinguished from similar species in that it is the only one with reddish stems. The pink or red bell-like flowers are around 6 mm in size. They hang singly from the junction of the lower leaves. They are replaced by tasty blue-purple berries.
Tall bilberry (V. membranaceum), the tallest of our bilberries grows up to 1 m in height. The twigs are brown to greenish. The narrow leaves have a sharper point than dwarf bilberry. The pink or red bell-like flowers are around 6 mm in size. They hang singly from the junction of the lower leaves. They are replaced by tasty blue-purple berries. The berries are large--8-10 mm in diametre.
Blueberry (V. myrtilloides) has greenish-brown stems. The leaves are narrowly oval, coming to a point. They are 2.5-5 cm long. The margin is smooth. The flowers grow in dense clusters at the end of short branches. The bell-like flowers are 5-6 mm long, white to greenish-white, and may have a tinge of pink or purple. The blue berries, 5-10 mm in diametre, are wonderfully tasty.
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