Calyx 4-5 fid; teeth often minute. Corolla regular, 4-5 cleft. Stamens 8-10; anthers opening by terminal pores or slits. Ovary 4-5 celled. Fruit a berry. Seeds albuminous.

Small woody shrubs, often with shiny evergreen leaves.

A small family allied to Ericacece, represented in northern and temperate regions, and in the mountains of the tropics.

Vaccinium L

Small woody shrubs, often with shiny, evergreen leaves. Corolla regular, campanulate or rotate, 4-5 cleft. Stamens 8-10. Style filiform. Calyx 4-5 fid. Ovary 4-5 celled. Fruit a berry. Flowers solitary or in racemes.

A numerous genus in mountain districts and heaths, represented over the greater part of the globe.

Vaccinium Myrtillus L. Bilberry, Whortleberry

A small, glabrous shrub, 6-18 inches high, with many erect or spreading green branches. Leaves deciduous, ovate, barely an inch long, finely toothed and very shortly stalked. Flowers globular, greenish white or pinkish. Berry globular, bluish black, with a glaucous bloom.

Mountain woods, heaths and stony pastures (avoiding limestone) up to 9000 feet in the Maritime Alps and perhaps in Switzerland. May to July. Fruit: August, September.

The fruit is often larger than in England, and in autumn sometimes mountain-sides are ablaze with the autumnal tints of this plant.

Distribution

Mountain ranges of Southern Europe. At lower elevations in Northern and Central Europe and Russian Asia. British.

Vaccinium Uliginosum L. Bog Whortleberry. (Plate XVIII)

Differs from the last by its entire, obovate, or oblong, thin leaves, which are glaucous beneath and have a strong network of veins above; its rather smaller and more numerous flowers and berries are not pleasant to the taste.

Bogs, Alpine moors and heaths up to 9300 feet in Switzerland and the French Alps, not descending so low as the last. May to June. Fruit: August, September.

Distribution

Northern and Central Europe, Russian Asia, N. America. British.

Vaccinium Vitis-Idaea L. Cowberry. (Plate XII)

Stems much branched, procumbent and straggling. Leaves numerous, evergreen, obovate or oblong, coriaceous, rolled at the margins, entire or slightly toothed at the apex. Flowers waxy, flesh-coloured, campanulate, drooping, with spreading lobes, forming dense terminal, drooping racemes. Berries bright scarlet, the size of peas; they are eaten by Snow Partridges and other birds.

Mountain woods, turf-moors and Alpine heaths, and rocky pastures up to 9300 feet in Switzerland. May to July. Fruit: August, September.

Distribution

Northern and Central Europe, Russian Asia, and N. America, becoming a mountain plant in Central Europe. The plant is often attacked by a fungus called Exobasidium Vaccinii.

Vaccinium Oxycoccus L. Oxycoccus Palustris Pers. Cranberry

A small and very delicate, wiry-stemmed, creeping plant. Leaves small, evergreen, ovate-lanceolate, with edges rolled back, 1-nerved, very glaucous beneath. Flowers drooping and fugitive, on long, slender peduncles with a pair of minute bracts below the middle. Corolla rose, deeply divided into 4 lobes which are quite reflexed, exposing the 8 stamens. Berries globular, reddish yellow, then darker. Flowers June, July. Fruit: July to September.

Only in sphagnum bogs, where it is difficult to find, the flowers being so fugitive. Up to 5600 feet in Switzerland.

Distribution

Northern Europe, Asia, and America as far as Iceland. High mountain ranges of Central Europe, but apparently not in the French Alps (Coste). British.