Vaccinium caespitosum Michx., orth. var.
dwarf blueberry (bilberry; dwarf bilberry)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Bryan Kelly-McArthur     (Photo ID #76470)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Vaccinium caespitosum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Low, spreading, matted shrub; stems (5) 10-30 cm tall, rounded, yellowish-green to reddish bark, usually finely hairy.
Alternate, deciduous, thin, prominently net-veined below, oblanceolate to egg-shaped, 1-3 cm long, 2-15 mm wide, tips pointed to blunt, tapered to the base, margins finely toothed in upper half, the teeth usually gland-tipped, light green on both surfaces.
Solitary in leaf axils, nodding; flower stalks short, curved downward; corollas whitish to pink, narrowly tubular urn-shaped, 4-6 mm long, twice as long as wide; calyces obscurely lobed, the lobes very short, deciduous in fruit; filaments glabrous, longer than anthers; anthers awned, with slender terminal tubes.
Berries, nearly globe-shaped, 5-8 mm wide, light blue to blackish-blue with a pale grey bloom; sweet and palatable.
A variable species sometimes separated into two or more varieties.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Vaccinium caespitosum

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)
1164 6 2434
Slope Gradient (%)
12 0 200

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

196 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

AT(24), BAFA(53), BWBS(323), CMA(15), CWH(106), ESSF(723), ICH(139), IDF(317), IMA(15), MH(74), MS(433), PP(2), SBPS(334), SBS(957), SWB(158)

Habitat and Range

Dry to wet forests, bogs, meadows, rocky ridges and tundra in the lowland to alpine zones; common throughout BC; N to AK, YT, and NT, E to NF, and S to CA, CO, MN, and NY.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Vaccinium arbuscula (Gray) Merriam
Vaccinium caespitosum var. arbuscula Gray
Vaccinium caespitosum var. caespitosum Michx. [superfluous autonym]
Vaccinium caespitosum var. paludicola (Camp) HultTn
Vaccinium cespitosum Michx.
Vaccinium cespitosum var. arbuscula Gray [orthographic variant]
Vaccinium cespitosum var. cespitosum Michx. [orthographic variant]
Vaccinium cespitosum var. paludicola (Camp) Hulten [orthographic variant]
Vaccinium nivictum Camp