Herb: Dwarf Bilberry

Latin name: Vaccinium caespitosum

Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Medicinal use of Dwarf Bilberry:

Antiseptic, astringent, carminative, hypoglycaemic.

Description of the plant:


30 cm
(11 3/4 inch)

May to

Habitat of the herb:

Rocky or gravelly banks in open woods or alpine scrub.

Edible parts of Dwarf Bilberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked. Sweet. The fruit can be eaten raw, used in pies, preserves etc, or can be dried for later use. A reasonable source of vitamin C. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter. A tea is made from the leaves and dried fruits.

Propagation of the herb:

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 Dwarf Bilberry:

Rocky or gravelly banks in open woods or alpine scrub.

Known hazards of Vaccinium caespitosum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.