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

Vaccinium scoparium Leiberg ex Coville
grouseberry (grouse whortleberry)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Paul Dawson  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #87013)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Vaccinium scoparium
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Species Information

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Matted, low shrub; stems 10-25 cm tall, many, slender, broomlike, strongly angled, greenish or yellowish-green, glabrous.
Alternate, deciduous, lance-egg-shaped to oval, to 12 mm long, tips pointed to sharp-pointed, bases rounded to wedge-shaped, light-green, finely toothed, glabrous, shiny above, dull and conspicuously veined below.
Solitary in leaf axils; flower stalks 2-2.5 mm long, nodding; corollas pinkish, narrowly urn-shaped, about 4 mm long; calyces very shallowly lobed, almost obsolete; filaments glabrous; anthers awned, the pore-bearing terminal tubes about equal to the pollen sacs.
Berries, globe-shaped, 3-5 mm wide, bright red; edible and sweet.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Red
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry to moist forests and openings in the montane and subalpine zones; common in SE and SC BC; E to SW AB, and S to N CA, CO, and SD.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Vaccinium scoparium

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 1652 2619
Slope Gradient (%) 0 23 420
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 227 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 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: AT(85), BAFA(3), BWBS(22), CWH(34), ESSF(2435), ICH(257), IDF(142), IMA(12), MS(1164), PP(2), SBPS(20), SBS(46), SWB(4)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, montane to alpine, Cordilleran North American deciduous shrub (marginal in the Central region). Occurs in continental alpine tundra and subalpine boreal climates on nitrogen­poor soils; its occurrence is restricted to the eastern part of the coast-interior ecotone.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 alpine tundra & boreal.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References