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Vaccinium myrtillus (Common bilberry)

Advanced
skill rating
3 hours care
per year
0.3m
Max height
1m
Max spread
10-20 years
To maturity

Plant details

Botanical name

Vaccinium myrtillus

Other names

Common bilberry, Whortleberry, Whinberry, Blackheart, Blaeberry, Bullberries, Blueberry, Blackberry, Fragham, Frocken, Hartberries, Horts, Huckleberry, Hurtleberry, Whortle bilberry

Genus

Vaccinium Vaccinium

Species

V. myrtillus - V. myrtillus is a vigorous, creeping, deciduous shrub with dense, upright stems, oval to elliptic, toothed, glossy, bright green leaves, often red-flushed in autumn, and, in late spring and early summer, pendent, rounded, urn-shaped pink flowers followed by edible, spherical, blue-black berries.


Vaccinium myrtillus is: Evergreen

Habit

Spreading

Flower

Pink in Spring; Pink in Summer

Foliage

Bright-green in Spring; Bright-green in Summer; Flushed red, Bright-green in Autumn

How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Caterpillars Caterpillars

Crown rot , Grey mould , Leaf spot , Phytophthora root diseases , Powdery mildew , Rust Crown rot , Grey mould , Leaf spot , Phytophthora root diseases , Powdery mildew , Rust

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Propagation methods

Layering, Seed, Softwood cuttings


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Where to grow

Vaccinium myrtillus (Common bilberry) will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 1m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Flavouring food and drinks, Ground Cover, Underplanting, Woodland

Cultivation

Plant in full sun to part shade in acid, peaty or sandy, moist but well-drained soil.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

Companion plants

We do not currently have companion plants added for this plant.

Botanical name

Vaccinium myrtillus

Other names

Common bilberry, Whortleberry, Whinberry, Blackheart, Blaeberry, Bullberries, Blueberry, Blackberry, Fragham, Frocken, Hartberries, Horts, Huckleberry, Hurtleberry, Whortle bilberry

Genus

Vaccinium Vaccinium

Species

V. myrtillus - V. myrtillus is a vigorous, creeping, deciduous shrub with dense, upright stems, oval to elliptic, toothed, glossy, bright green leaves, often red-flushed in autumn, and, in late spring and early summer, pendent, rounded, urn-shaped pink flowers followed by edible, spherical, blue-black berries.

Native to

Europe, Northern Asia

Foliage

Evergreen

Habit

Spreading


Colour

Flower

Pink in Spring; Pink in Summer

Foliage

Bright-green in Spring; Bright-green in Summer; Flushed red, Bright-green in Autumn


How to care

Watch out for

Specific pests

Caterpillars

Specific diseases

Crown rot , Grey mould , Leaf spot , Phytophthora root diseases , Powdery mildew , Rust

General care

Pruning

Pruning group 1

Propagation methods

Layering, Seed, Softwood cuttings


Monthly care advice


Where to grow

Vaccinium myrtillus (Common bilberry) will reach a height of 0.3m and a spread of 1m after 10-20 years.

Suggested uses

Flavouring food and drinks, Ground Cover, Underplanting, Woodland

Cultivation

Plant in full sun to part shade in acid, peaty or sandy, moist but well-drained soil.

Soil type

Loamy, Sandy

Soil drainage

Moist but well-drained, Well-drained

Soil pH

Acid

Light

Partial Shade, Full Sun

Aspect

North, South, East, West

Exposure

Exposed, Sheltered

UK hardiness Note: We are working to update our ratings. Thanks for your patience.

Hardy (H4)

USDA zones

Zone 7, Zone 6, Zone 5, Zone 4, Zone 3, Zone 2

Defra's Risk register #1

Plant name

Vaccinium myrtillus (Common bilberry)

Common pest name

Alfalfa dwarf; Anaheim disease; California vine disease; Dwarf disease of alfalfa; Dwarf disease of lucerne; Leaf scald of oleander; Leaf scald of plum; Leaf scorch; Phony disease of peach; Pierce's disease of grapevine; Variegated chlorosis of citrus

Scientific pest name

Xylella fastidiosa (all other strains and subspecies)

Type

Bacterium

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

General biosecurity comments

A bacterial disease with a wide host range and many sub-species and strains; including those that could thrive in cooler climates; showing different levels of pathogenicity. Although EU regulated; there is some concern about the risk of introduction. Should an outbreak occur; there would be a need for eradication action which would result in environmental and social impacts.

Defra's Risk register #2

Plant name

Vaccinium myrtillus (Common bilberry)

Common pest name

leaf rust of blueberry

Scientific pest name

Thekopsora minima

Type

Fungus

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

4

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Rust fungus affecting blueberry and hemlock. This fungus has been detected in Europe (Germany; Netherlands and Portugal). Some uncertainty about the suitability of UK native host species. But the case for regulation should be considered based on the EPPO PRA.

Defra's Risk register #3

Plant name

Vaccinium myrtillus (Common bilberry)

Common pest name

A dagger nematode

Scientific pest name

Xiphinema rivesi

Type

Nematode

Current status in UK

Absent

Likelihood to spread to UK (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

Impact (1 is very low - 5 is very high)

3

General biosecurity comments

Polyphagous nematode pest which is also a virus vector. Present in a number of European countries; but not detected in the UK; although may have been present in soil attached to plants imported to the UK. No evidence of significant damage seen elsewhere in Europe.

About this section

Our plants are under greater threat than ever before. There is increasing movement of plants and other material traded from an increasing variety of sources. This increases the chances of exotic pests arriving with imported goods and travellers, as well as by natural means. Shoot is working with Defra to help members to do their part in preventing the introduction and spread of invasive risks.

Traveling or importing plants? Please read "Don't risk it" advice here

Suspected outbreak? Click here for contact details to report to the relevant authority.

Date updated: 7th March 2019 For more information visit: https://planthealthportal.defra.gov.uk/

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Soil types: Loamy, Sandy Tell us...
Soil drainage: Moist but well-drained, Well-drained Tell us...
Soil pH: Acid Tell us...
Light: Partial Shade, Full Sun Tell us...
Aspect: North, South, East, West Tell us...
Exposure: Exposed, Sheltered Tell us...
Hardiness: Hardy (H4) Tell us...

DISCUSS THIS PLANT

Time to bear fruit

HelloCan you please let me know how much time does it take for the plant to bear fruit when growing from seed?Thank youCarlos read more

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