Vaccinium myrtillus

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaEricaceaeVacciniumVaccinium myrtillus


A calcifugous low shrub, common and locally dominant in well-drained heaths and moorland, especially in upland areas, and as an understorey in acid woodland of Betula, Pinus and Quercus; also found on hummocks in peat bogs in the north and west. It rarely regenerates from seed. 0-1300 m (Ben Macdui, S. Aberdeen).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Boreal-montane element.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 2

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2

Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.3

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1243

Height (cm): 50

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary


Life Form - secondary


Comment on Life Form

dwarf shrub



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1886

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 701

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 1

Atlas Change Index: -0.61

Weighted Changed Factor: -11

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


JNCC Designations


Atlas text references

Atlas (195d)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
Ritchie JC
1956.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 56. Vaccinium myrtillus L. Journal of Ecology. 44:291-299.
Welch D, Scott D, Doyle S
2000.  Studies on the paradox of seedling rarity in Vaccinium myrtillus L. in NE Scotland. Botanical Journal of Scotland. 52:17-30.