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.
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.
Illustration Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia
||Value / Class
Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
of field plots
species was recorded in:
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)|
Source: Klinkenberg 2013
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