Vaccinium uliginosum L.
bog blueberry (bog bilberry)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© David Blevins     (Photo ID #394)


E-Flora BC Static Map

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

Species Information

Low, spreading shrub; stems 10-30 cm tall, not angled; young branches yellowish-green, minutely hairy; old branches greyish-red.
Alternate, deciduous, from broadly egg-shaped to oval or elliptic, 0.4-3 cm long, 0.2-1.5 cm wide, rounded at tips, tapered at base, glabrous or minutely hairy, green above, lower surfaces pale or with slight bloom, strongly net-veined, margins entire, rolled under somewhat.
Clusters of 1-4, in leaf axils; corollas pink, egg- to urn-shaped, 5-6 mm long, 4- to 5-lobed, the lobes curled back; calyces deeply 4- to 5-lobed, persistent on mature fruit; filaments glabrous; anthers awned, the pore-bearing terminal tubes about equaling the pollen sacs.
Berries, globe-shaped, 5-8 mm wide, blue, with a bloom; edible and sweet.
Two subspecies are recognized in BC:

1. Leaves hairy................. ssp. pubescens (Wormsk. ex Hornem.) S.B. Young

1. Leaves glabrous or minutely hairy........................ ssp. occidentale (A. Gray) Hult.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Blue
Present over the Summer
Source:  The USDA


Ecological Framework for Vaccinium uliginosum

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)
940 6 2205
Slope Gradient (%)
16 0 120

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

333 0 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 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(2), BAFA(90), BWBS(74), CDF(2), CMA(13), CWH(142), ESSF(13), IMA(3), MH(63), SBS(7), SWB(79)

Habitat and Range

Bogs, dry to wet rocky tundra, meadows, thickets and boggy forests in the lowland to alpine zones; frequent in coastal BC (ssp. occidentale), and in N BC (ssp. pubescens); circumboreal, N to AK, YT, and NT, E to NF and S to N MI, NY, and N CA; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Vaccinium occidentale A. Gray
Vaccinium uliginosum subsp. alpinum (Bigelow) Hultén
Vaccinium uliginosum subsp. gaultherioides (Bigelow) S.B. Young
Vaccinium uliginosum subsp. microphyllum Lange
Vaccinium uliginosum subsp. occidentale (A. Gray) Hultén
Vaccinium uliginosum subsp. pedris (HarshA. Berger) S.B. Young
Vaccinium uliginosum subsp. pubescens (Wormsk. ex Hornem.) S.B. Young
Vaccinium uliginosum var. alpinum Bigelow
Vaccinium uliginosum var. occidentale (A. Gray) H. Hara
Vaccinium uliginosum var. salicinum (Cham.) Hultén