FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Vaccinium uliginosum, northern bilberry or bog bilberry

Vaccinium uliginosum; the northern bilberry also known as bog bilberry can be found almost everywhere on Iceland. It is a heather species that differs from the Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) in its softer leaves. There is a strong resemblance to the bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) but this species has very incised top-ends of the the flowers where the bog bilberry has more regular tubular flowers. They differ also in the leaves, or rather the leaf margins. They are smooth in the northern (bog) bilberry (V. uliginosum) and fine toothed (dentated) in the bilberry (V. myrtilus). Both species have edible blue/purple berries. It is member of the heath family (Ericaceae). The Icelandic name of this species is Bl√°berjalyng.

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A brief introduction to Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk - unless stated otherwise


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