Vaccinium caespitosum

dwarf blueberry, dwarf bilberry

Vaccinium caespitosum is a very low growing shrub (15-30 cm tall) with yellow-green to reddish branches. Leaves are 1-3 cm long and light green on top, with a slightly pale underside. These leaves are toothed from the tip to midpoint.

Berries are light blue to blackish blue with a pale waxy coating or bloom. They can be distinguished from V. deliciosum by their elongate and bright green leaves, toothing pattern, and location.

Dwarf blueberries are often more plentiful several years after a fire.

Cultural Narrative: 

Dwarf blueberries are extremely popular, with some groups arguing that these berries are the best tasting of all the regional species. As the plant is grows so close to the ground, they can be difficult to harvest. They were eaten fresh or mashed and dried into cakes. Occasionally they were cooked and the juice consumed immediately. Turner (2007:117) indicates these berries were a common trade item.

Location Description: 

Dwarf blueberries grow in open forestes across elevations.