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Vaccinium vitis-idaea, the lingonberry, partridgeberry, mountain cranberry or cowberry, is a small evergreen shrub in the heath family Ericaceae, that bears edible fruit. It is native to boreal forest and Arctic tundra throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from Europe and Asia to North America.

Vaccinium vitis-idaea spreads by underground stems to form dense clonal colonies. The flowers are bell-shaped, white to pale pink, 3–8 mm (1⁄8–3⁄8 in) long, and produced in the early summer The flowers are pollinated by multiple insect species, including Andrena lapponica and several species of bumblebee.

The fruit is a red berry 6–10 mm (1⁄4–3⁄8 in) across, with an acidic taste, ripening in late summer to autumn. While bitter early in the season, they sweeten if left on the branch through winter.

The plant is endangered in Michigan. The minus subspecies is listed as a species of special concern and believed extirpated in Connecticut.

Vaccinium vitis-idaea keeps its leaves all winter even in the coldest years, unusual for a broad-leaved plant, though in its natural habitat it is usually protected from severe cold by snow cover. It is extremely hardy, tolerating temperatures as low as −40 °C (−40 °F) or lower, but grows poorly where summers are hot. It prefers some shade (as from a forest canopy) and constantly moist, acidic soil. Nutrient-poor soils are tolerated but not alkaline soils.

Type: Hardy shrub

Height: 15cm, 6"

Hardiness zones: 2-7

Soil: This plant likes acidic soil, which can easily be provided with evergreen needles. Grow your plants on the south (sunny) side of pine/spruce trees, or place pine/spruce needles at the base of the blueberry.

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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