Bog whortleberry

Vaccinum uliginosum

Bog whortleberry, photo Jan W. Ahlfors

The bog whortleberry belongs in the family of blueberries. They have a lot in common with blueberries, as both are deciduous small bushes. This means that in winter, their leaves fall off. A bluish or whitish wax film covers the berries of both bog whortleberries and blueberries. They also have very similar flowers. The berries of bog whortleberries are slightly more blue and lighter than those of blueberries. Additionally, the berries of bog whortleberries are not as round. The leaves of bog whortleberries are bluish-green; the leaves of blueberries, however, are light green. Bog whortleberries are also higher – almost to hip’s height. The berries of bog whortleberries also stain less than those of blueberries. Bog whortleberry berries are not as tasty as blueberries, but they are still very valuable. Bog whortleberries do not grow long crawling underground rhizomes which would help them spread out quickly. This is why blueberries are often seen growing in masses, while bog whortleberries are not. Nonetheless, the area of distribution of bog whortleberries is larger worldwide than that of blueberries.