Herb: Caucasian Whortleberry


Latin name: Vaccinium arctostaphylos


Synonyms: Vaccinium arctostophylos


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Edible parts of Caucasian Whortleberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The fruit is juicy with a slightly acid flavour, it makes an acceptable fruit to nibble on, though it is nothing special. The fruit is usually produced abundantly when the plant is well sited. The pear-shaped fruit is small, about 8 - 10mm in size. The leaves are a tea substitute.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
3 m
(9 3/4 foot)

Flovering:
May to
July

Habitat of the herb:

Mountain slopes, fir/spruce or fir/beech woods, rhododendron thickets, occasionally in oak forests and near the timber line in stands of birch and occasionally of pine.

Propagation of Caucasian Whortleberry:

Seed - sow late winter in a greenhouse in a lime-free potting mix and only just cover the seed. Stored seed might require a period of up to 3 months cold stratification. Another report says that it is best to sow the seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe. Once they are about 5cm tall, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August in a frame. Slow and difficult. Layering in late summer or early autumn. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer. Takes 18 months. Division of suckers in spring or early autumn.

Cultivation of the herb:

Mountain slopes, fir/spruce or fir/beech woods, rhododendron thickets, occasionally in oak forests and near the timber line in stands of birch and occasionally of pine.

Medicinal use of Caucasian Whortleberry:

None known

Known hazards of Vaccinium arctostaphylos:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.