Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), not Blueberry!
I have been searching for Bilberry plants for a couple of
years now. I have totally bombed ou8t trying to grow them
The closest I can find is on Flea Bay:
Anyone know of a source other than Flea Bay?
Now...I may have this totally wrong but, the kind of berries you *might*
be talking about I have found in the farmer's market in Madison. Right,
WI. As if anyone cares.... Most horrible-tasting things to ever plummet
down my gullet, I truly assure....
And then again, I've a few years earlier found something I thought was
V. myrtillus (looks verymuch like BB) growing wild in E central VA.
They weren't much better.
(Maybe it was bearberry??)
Damned awful stuff, whatever it was. The both of them. But my thinking
is if it is pleasurable enough eating, mankind would've cultivated it
forever & a day ago.
Used to be some seedsmen who sold all manner of world-wide, off-the-wall
seeds. Lawd I miss their menus. If I happen across it again I'll holler.
I have powdered Vaccinium myrtillus I use for my eyes. It tastes
slightly fruity and slightly sweet.
A bilberry looks exactly like a blueberry, except it does not have
the telltale four point crown at its end.
Vaccinium myrtillus claim to fame is that it likes cold climates,
which is why I am trying to grow it in zone 6c.
Just an aside, bilberry was disinformation put out by the British
during the Blitz on London during World War II. They said bilberry gave
their pilots better night vision to shoot down German aircraft.
The truth was it was a cover for radar. The Brits knew they were coming
and were laying and waiting for them
Bilberry is still great for your eyes though:
The effect of a natural, standardized bilberry extract
(Mirtoselect®) in dry eye: a randomized, double blinded,
Neuroprotective effect of bilberry extract in a murine model of
I use it for vitreous detachment.
Biochem Pharmacol, 1983; 32: 53-8; Angiologica, 1972; 9: 355-74;
Minerva Med, 1977; 68: 3565-81
I order one set of two from Flea Bay. It came with
a stern warning that they required cold weather and
that they were just dormant, not dead. They are
currently loving the pampering and have developed
lots of beautiful green leaves.
when the plants get large enough for me to steel
a few clippings, I will try planting clippings
based on what I learned with the choke berries.
And they are not some weird cedar bush either. Their
leaves are clearly dicots
you are much better off not planting things outside
at this time of the year that are new starts. this
sort of heat is tough on plants as it is let alone
a new plant.
get them started in pots now, indoors where it is
cooler and then plant them out in the fall when the
demand upon the plant is less. you will have a
much better chance of having the plant survive next