This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
A shrub, 1°-3° high, with ascending or erect stiff grayish branches, the young shoots commonly pubescent. Leaves oval or oblong, rarely obovate, obtuse or acutish, entire, very resinous when young, mucronulate, glabrous or very nearly so and green on both sides, firm, 1'-2' long; petioles about 1" long; flowers few, pink or red, in short one-sided racemes; bracts small, reddish, deciduous, shorter than or equalling the usually 2-bracteolate pedicels; corolla ovoid-conic, 5-angled, becoming campanulate-cylindric, 2"-2 1/2" long; filaments ciliate; fruit black without bloom, or bluish and with a bloom, rarely white or pink, about 3" in diameter, sweet but seedy.
Vaccinium dumosum Andr. Bot. Rep. 2: pl. 112. 1800. Vaccinium hirtellum Ait. f. Hort. Kew. Ed. 2, 2: 357.
1811. G. dumosa T. & G.; A. Gray, Man. 259. 1848. Gaylussacia dumosa hirtella A. Gray, Man. 259. 1848.
A branching shrub, 1°-2° high, from a horizontal or ascending base, the branches nearly erect, usually leafless below, the young twigs pubescent or hirsute, glandular. Leaves oblong-obovate or oblanceolate, obtuse, mucronate, entire, firm or coriaceous, green both sides, shining when old, sparingly pubescent or glabrous, resinous, or glandular, 1'-1 1/2' long, sessile or nearly so; flowers white, pink or red, in rather long and loose racemes; bracts oval, foliaceous, persistent, pubescent or glandular, equalling or longer than the slender pubescent or hirsute 2-bracteolate pedicels; corolla campanulate, 2"-2 1/2" long; filaments pubescent; calyx puberulent; fruit black, without bloom, 3"-4" in diameter, watery and rather insipid.
In sandy or rocky soil, often in swamps, Newfoundland to Florida and Louisiana. Gopher-berry. Races differ in pubescence and in shape of the leaves. May-June. Fruit July-Aug.
Vaccinium brachycerum Michx. Fl. Bor. Am. 1: 234. 1803.
Vaccinium buxifolium Salisb. Parad. Lond. pl. 4. 1806.
Gaylussacia brachycera A. Gray, Mem. Am. Acad. II. 3: 54. 1846.
A low branching shrub, 6-15' high, from a horizontal or ascending base, the branches erect, angular, the twigs glabrous or very nearly so. Leaves thick, very coriaceous, glabrous, not resinous, persistent, evergreen, oval or oblong, obtuse or acutish, 1/2'-1' long, serrate with low teeth, the margins somewhat revolute; petioles 1" long or less; flowers few, white or pink in short racemes; bracts and bractlets scale-like, caducous; pedicels very short; corolla cylindric-ovoid, about 2" long; filaments ciliate; fruit (according to A. Wood) light blue.
In dry woods, Delaware and Pennsylvania to Virginia. May.
2. V╠TIS-IDA╚A (Tourn.) Hill, Brit. Herb. 516. 1756.
A low evergreen shrub, with creeping stems, alternate oval or obovate coriaceous leaves, and small white or pink nodding flowers, secund in small terminal clusters. Calyx 4-toothed. Corolla open-campanulate, 4-lobed. Stamens 8; anthers upwardly prolonged into tubes; filaments pubescent. Ovary 4-celled, inferior. Fruit a dark red acid many-seeded berry. [Ancient name.]
A monotypic genus of the north temperate and arctic zones.
179. 1903. Vaccinum Vitis-Idaea minus Lodd. Bot. Cab. pl. 1023.
Branches erect, terete, 3'-8' high, puberulent or glabrous. Leaves thick, persistent, crowded, green and somewhat shining above, paler and black-dotted beneath, quite glabrous, or minutely ciliate toward the base, obovate or oval, short-petioled, entire or sparingly serrulate, 3"-8" long, the margins revo-lute; flowers longer than their pedicels; bracts reddish, short-oblong, tardily deciduous; bractlets 2; berries dark red, acid, 4"-s" in diameter.
In rocky places, Essex Co., Mass., coast of Maine, higher mountains of New England to Labrador and arctic America, west to Lake Superior, British Columbia and Alaska. Ascends to 5300 ft. in the Adirondacks. Also in northern Europe and Asia. Fruit used as a substitute for cranberries. June-July. Flowering box. Ling- or wine-berry. Red whortleberry or bilberry. Rock-cranberry. Cluster-berries. Fruit ripe Aug.-Sept.