COMMON BILBERRY, BLUEBERRY Vaccinium myrtillus
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Vaccinium myrtillus or European blueberry is a holarctic species of shrub with edible fruit of blue color, known by the common names bilberry, blaeberry, wimberry, and whortleberry. It is more precisely called common bilberry or blue whortleberry to distinguish it from other Vaccinium relatives.
Vaccinium myrtillus is a small deciduous shrub that grows 4–18 in (10–46 cm) tall. It has light green leaves that turn red in autumn.
Vaccinium myrtillus is native to continental Northern Europe, the British Isles, north and central Asia, Japan, Greenland, Iceland, Western Canada, and the Western United States. It occurs in the acidic soils of heaths, boggy barrens, degraded meadows, open forests and parklands, slopes, and moraines. Bilberry seems to be unaffected by climate change.
In cooking, the bilberry fruit is commonly used for pies, tarts and flans, cakes, jams, muffins, cookies, sauces, syrups, juices, and candies.
Although bilberries are in high demand by consumers in Northern Europe, the berries are harvested in the wild without any cultivation.
Hardiness zones: 3-8
Seeds per pack: 20
Germination: These seeds should be cold stratified for 3 months. Place in a ziplock bag with a damp paper towel, and place in the fridge. After the cold stratification, push the seeds onto the surface of an acid medium (such as peat-moss and silica sand), watered, drained and covered with clean plastic and then set into a bright window (no direct sun). Do not bury the seeds are they require light for germination. The seeds should germinate in 2 to 8 weeks. should be stratified for 3 months, ie stored damp and very cool such as in the fridge. If they are stored dry and warm they will be dead after a year.
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