Bilberry, Whortleberry, Whiniberry, Huckleberry

Vaccinium myrtillus

Family: Ericaceae (er-ek-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Vaccinium (vak-SIN-ee-um) (Info)
Species: myrtillus (mir-TIL-us) (Info)


Edible Fruits and Nuts



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

12-18 in. (30-45 cm)

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Chartreuse (Yellow-Green)

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Newport Center, Vermont

Gardeners' Notes:


On Feb 19, 2008, malsprower from Daytona, FL wrote:

i just love the flavor of this berry, i think that it tastes better than the blueberry. i usually find these berries along with blueberries on mountaintops, they don't seem to grow as much in the valleys of vermont.


On Aug 17, 2004, calpsychik from Santa Cruz, CA wrote:

I have not grown it, but am planning to. There are some bilberry jam and juice products coming out of Italy that are quite tasty. The flavor of the berry is similar to a cross between a blueberry and a cranberry. It is recommended for eyesight improvement (even by physicians). It purportedly strengthens the small capillaries in the eyes and improves night vision. I eat it often, but my eyesight is already great, so I can't comment personally on the benefits. Don't confuse it with Vaccinium ovatum, which is also called "huckleberry" and is native to parts of the west coast of North America (such as where I live).


On May 4, 2002, Lilith from Durham
United Kingdom (Zone 8a) wrote:

Native to Northern and parts of Southern Europe, Bilberry is a small deciduous shrub of moors and heaths, with globular pink flowers followed by globular black fruits. The berries have a bluish 'bloom', as on black grapes. Although small and rather watery, they are edible and are often eaten in pies, tarts or with cream.