NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF UKRAINE
State Museum of Natural History
Biodiversity Data Centre

Vaccinium myrtillus L.

Synonym
  • Myrtillus nigra Gilib.
  • Vaccinium montanum Salisb.
Vernacular Name
European Blueberry, Common Bilberry, Blue Whortleberry
Images
Conservation status
No status defined
Value of species
Medicinal plant; Ornamental species; Nectar source; Edible
Remarks
Detail
Vaccinium myrtillus is found natively in Continental Northern Europe, the British Isles and Ireland, Iceland and across the Caucasus into northern Asia. It is a non-native introduced species in Western Canada and the Western United States. It occurs in the wild on heathlands and acidic soils. Its berry has been long consumed in the Old World. It is related to the widely cultivated North American blueberry. Vaccinium myrtillus has been used for nearly 1,000 years in traditional European medicine. Vaccinium myrtillus fruits have been used in traditional Austrian medicine internally (directly or as tea or liqueur) for treatment of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract and diabetes. Herbal supplements of V. myrtillus (bilberry) on the market are used for cardiovascular conditions, diabetes, as vision aids, and to treat diarrhea and other conditions. Researchers are interested in bilberry because of its high concentrations of anthocyanins, which may have various health benefits. The United States' National Institutes of Health (NIH) cautions, "There’s not enough scientific evidence to support the use of bilberry for any health conditions." In cooking, the bilberry fruit is commonly used for the same purposes as the American blueberry, such as pies, cakes, jams, muffins, cookies, sauces, syrups, juices, and candies. In traditional medicine, bilberry leaf is used for different conditions, including diarrhea, scurvy, infections, burns, and diabetes.
Book reference
  • Кузярін О.Т. Судинні рослини території торфовища "Білогорща” (м. Львів) // Наукові основи збереження біотичної різноманітності. - 2010. - Т.1(8), №1. - С.75-90.
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  • Hleb R., Loya V., Cherepanyn R. Salix herbacea L. (Salicaceae) in the Maramures massif of the Ukrainian Carpathians // Plant Introduction. - 2020. - №85/86. - P.130-136.
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Experts
  • Alexander KUZYARIN, Dr, e-mail: kuzyarin@gmail.com

Taxonomic branch

Biota
Eukaryota
Plantae
Viridiplantae
Tracheophyta
Euphyllophytina
Magnoliopsida
Ericales
Ericaceae