/bil"ber'ee, -beuh ree/, n., pl. bilberries.the fruit of several shrubby species of the genus Vaccinium.[1570-80; obs. bil ( < Scand; cf. Dan bölle bilberry) + BERRY]
* * *Low-growing deciduous shrub (Vaccinium myrtillus) of the heath family, found in woods and on heaths, chiefly in hilly districts of Britain, northern Europe, and Asia.The stiff stems bear small egg-shaped leaves and small rosy flowers tinged with green. The dark blue, waxy berries are an important food of the grouse and are used for tarts and preserves. They are borne singly, unlike those of the much more productive cultivated blueberries of the U.S. (V. australe), which are borne in long clusters.
* * *▪ plantalso called whortleberry(Vaccinium myrtillus), low-growing deciduous shrub belonging to the family Ericaceae. It is found in woods and on heaths, chiefly in hilly districts of Great Britain, northern Europe, and Asia. The stiff stems, from 15 to 60 cm (6 to 24 inches) high, bear small egg-shaped leaves with serrated margins and small, globose, rosy flowers tinged with green. V. myrtillus is partly self-sterile but has been hybridized with the foxberry, or lingonberry, V. vitis-idaeus.The dark blue berries, ripening in July and August, have a waxy bloom and are about 1 cm (0.4 inch) in diameter. They are a principal food of the grouse and are used for tarts and preserves. The berries are borne singly, in contrast to those of the much more productive, cultivated blueberries of the United States, which are borne in short racemes.
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