Vaccinium myrtillus L.
Family: Ericaceae
whortleberry,  more...
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Russ Kleinman, Richard Felger, Ed Gilbert, Angela Flanders, Elroy Limmer, Charles Holmes  
PLANT: Shrubs openly branching and forming open colonies from woody rhizomes, 10- 40 cm tall; branches bright green, glabrous, sharply angled, flexuous. LEAVES: simple, ovate to elliptic, 1-4 cm long, 7-16 mm wide, thin, glabrous or with scattered glandular hairs; tips acute. INFLORESCENCE: solitary in leaf axils of current year’s growth. FLOWERS: 2-4 mm long; sepals glabrous, the lobes none to obscure; corollas white or pink; filaments glabrous; anthers awned. FRUITS: berries, 5-9 mm wide, blue or blue-black. 2n = 24, 48. NOTES: Mixed coniferous and spruce-fir forest, hillsides, openings: Apache, Cochise, Coconino, Graham cos. (Fig. 1D); 2400-3400 m (7900-11,000 ft); Jun-Jul; se AZ and NM, n to Can., temperate Northern Hemisphere. REFERENCES: John L. Anderson , 2008, Vascular Plants of Arizona: Ericaceae. CANOTIA 4 (2): 21-30.
FNA 2009, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Yatskievych and Windham 2008
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Herbaceous to shrubby perennials, 10-40 cm tall, branches bright green, flexuous, strongly and acutely angled, twigs yellowish or tinged with red, plants forming open colonies from woody rhizomes. Leaves: Alternate, ovate or oval to elliptic, 10-25 mm long, 7-16 mm wide, margins serrulate, acute to rounded at the apex, blades subsessile, glabrous or with scattered glandular hairs, deciduous. Flowers: Pink or white, urn shaped, corollas 2-4 mm long, sepals minute, 4-5, persistent, filaments glabrous, anthers included, prolonged upward into tubes and opening by terminal pores, often awned on the back, flowers borne solitary in leaf axils. Fruits: Berrylike, 5-9 mm in diameter, blue or blue-black, not glaucous, juicy, sweet, edible. Seeds many. Ecology: Found in open woods, among mixed conifers, spruce-fir forests, and on hillsides, from 8,000-11,000 ft (2438-3353 m); flowering June-July. Distribution: Widespread from Canada to New Mexico and Arizona. Notes: The rhizomatous colonies, angled, green twigs and blue berries are the key indicators for this species. Look for this species also under V. oreophilum in older texts. Ethnobotany: The berries were used as a principal food. Etymology: Vaccinium is the ancient Latin name of the bilberry, while myrtillus means myrtle like. Synonyms: Vaccinium myrtillus subsp. oreophilum, Vaccinium myrtillus var. oreophilum, Vaccinium oreophilum Editor: LCrumbacher 2011
Vaccinium myrtillus image
Russ Kleinman, Richard Felger, Ed Gilbert, Angela Flanders, Elroy Limmer, Charles Holmes  
Vaccinium myrtillus image
Russ Kleinman, Richard Felger, Ed Gilbert, Angela Flanders, Elroy Limmer, Charles Holmes  
Vaccinium myrtillus image
Russ Kleinman, Richard Felger, Ed Gilbert, Angela Flanders, Elroy Limmer, Charles Holmes  
Vaccinium myrtillus image
Russ Kleinman, Richard Felger, Ed Gilbert, Angela Flanders, Elroy Limmer, Charles Holmes  
Vaccinium myrtillus image
Russ Kleinman, Richard Felger, Ed Gilbert, Angela Flanders, Elroy Limmer, Charles Holmes  
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Hermann Falkner  
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Arizona State University Herbarium  
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