West Highland Flora

Bilberry


Vaccinium myrtillus

 

Vaccinium myrtillus

Photo Carl Farmer
28 Apr 2004 Portree, Skye
Flower c 7 mm across

Common on moorland and acid ground, including woods with open canopy.  Found at all elevations.

Flower diameter c 4-6 mm, fruit c 6-9 mm, leaves c 1-3 cm long.

ID: Stems angled and green.  Leaves notably bright green as in pic, slightly toothed, not leathery.  Plant hairless.  Even without flowers and fruit this (if leaves look like these pics) distinguishes it from any other member of the heather family or any other moorland or mountain shrub.

Other features: Flowers solitary or in pairs, pinkish, globular with tiny relfexed lobes at mouth.  Fruit a black berry.  Hybridises with Cowberry; the hybrid has darker leaves and is intermediate in other ways.  Bilberry is deciduous; other Skye Vaccinium species, including the hybrid, are evergreen.

 

Vaccinium myrtillus

Photo Carl Farmer
28 Apr 2004 Portree, Skye
Far left flower c 6 mm across

  Vaccinium myrtillus

Photo Carl Farmer
16 Apr 2003 Portree, Skye

 

Vaccinium myrtillus

Photo Carl Farmer
21 Oct 2003 Scorrybreac, Skye

Autumn leaves, showing angled stem


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