Herb: Sourtop Blueberry


Latin name: Vaccinium myrtilloides


Synonyms: Vaccinium canadense


Family: Ericaceae (Heath Family)



Medicinal use of Sourtop Blueberry:

The leaves and stems are contraceptive, diaphoretic and emmenagogue. A decoction has been used to treat various complaints of the female reproductive system. It has been used to bring on a delayed period, to prevent pregnancy, to prevent a miscarriage and to slow excessive menstrual bleeding.

Description of the plant:



Plant:
Deciduous
Shrub

Height:
60 cm
(2 feet)

Flovering:
May

Habitat of the herb:

Moist soils in heaths and pine woods.

Edible parts of Sourtop Blueberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked. More acid than most blueberries with an agreeable piquancy. They can be eaten fresh or used in pies, preserves etc. The fruit can also be dried for later use. The fruit is about 8mm in diameter. The flowers can be eaten raw or used to make preserves. The leaves are used as a tea substitute.

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 Sourtop Blueberry:

Moist soils in heaths and pine woods.

Known hazards of Vaccinium myrtilloides:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.