E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Salix myrtillifolia Andersson
bilberry willow (blueberry willow)
Salicaceae (Willow family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Salix myrtillifolia
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Species Information

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Dioecious shrubs, 0.1-0.6 m tall, layering; stems decumbent or erect, flexible at base; twigs yellow- to red-brown, sparsely hairy.
Alternate, simple, narrowly elliptic to broadly egg-shaped, 1.7-6.2 cm long, 0.8-2.6 cm wide, lower surface not glaucous, smooth, upper surface shiny, smooth, margins blunt-toothed, bases and tips pointed to rounded; leaf stalks without glandular dots at top; stipules rudimentary, rarely leaflike.
Unisexual, lacking sepals and petals, borne in catkins which flower as leaves emerge, the catkins stout, on leafy twigs; floral bracts dark or pale, smooth or hairy, hairs straight or wavy; stamens 2; ovaries 1, smooth; styles 0.3-0.5 mm long.
Capsules which split open to release the seeds, each of which is surrounded by a tuft of hairs; stalks 0.6-1.6 mm long.
A related taxon, which has been named S. myrtillifolia var. cordata (Andersson) Dorn, is treated here as S. pseudomyrsinites Andersson. See that species for comments. S. myrtillifolia may hybridize with S. candida.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Deep moss in moist to wet muskeg, fens and lake and river shores; throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains, common in N BC, infrequent in S BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to ON, disjunct PQ, NB and NF and S to WY and CO.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Salix myrtillifolia

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 6 927 1975
Slope Gradient (%) 0 9 173
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 329 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 5 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(211), ESSF(32), MS(3), SBPS(1), SBS(33), SWB(51)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Salix lingulata Anderss.
Salix myrsinites var. curtiflora Anderss.
Salix myrtillifolia var. brachypoda Fernald
Salix myrtillifolia var. curtiflora (Anderss.) Bebb ex Rose
Salix myrtillifolia var. lingulata (Anderss.) Ball
Salix myrtillifolia var. myrtillifolia
Salix novae-angliae var. myrtillifolia (Anderss.) Anderss.
Salix novae-angliae var. pseudocordata Anderss.
Salix pseudocordata (Andersson) Rydb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References