Bilberry, ' or the Vacantia*, L, is a plant of which, according to Bechstein, there are twenty-six species, while others enumerate only fifteen: of these, the following are indigenous:
1. The myrtilhis-, or Bilberry, which grows in abundance, in woods and heaths. See Withering, 370. and Engl. Bot. 456. The berries, when ripe, are of a dark-blue colour ; and, on account of their astringent quality, are occasionally given in diarrhoeas, with good erfe6t. In Scotland, they are eaten by the Highlanders, in milk; and likewise used in tarts and jel-I they produce a violet-coloured dye, which requires to be fixed with alum. The juice, mixed with a fourth part of lime, verdigrise, and sal ammoniac, affords a put pigment used by artists. The young tender leaves of this plant, properly dried, are an excellent substitute for tea.
2. The uliginosuvi, or Great Bilberry, is found on marshy heaths. See WITHERING, 370, and Engl. Bot. 581.—The fruit of this species is not so much esteemed as that of the preceding, because, if eaten in any quantity, it is apt to occasion head-ach.
3. The Vitis Idaea, or Red Whortle Berry, which grows on heaths, and in woods. See Wither-ing ing, 3/1, and Engl. Bot. 593. Its fruit is acid, and cooling. In Sweden, it is eaten in the form of a jelly. The young leaves of this species might also be advantageously used instead of tea ; from which they can scarcely be distinguished.
4. The Oat/coccus, or Cranberry, is common in bogs covered with mosses. It grows abundantly in the north of England, likewise on Dersingham moor, in Norfolk, and in Scotland and Ireland. See With. 372, and Engl. Bot. 319.
Great quantities of these berries are used in confectionary, as delicious ingredients in tarts; to which they impart a rich flavour. A considerable traffic is carried on with cranberries, in the northern counties ; insomuch, that at Longtown, in Cumberland, alone, the amount of a market-day's sale, is said to be from 20 to 301. It deserves to he added, that this fruit may he kept in a fresh state for many years merely by immersing it a bottle filled with spring water, and stopped. Silver, boiled in a decoc-tion of the berries, acquries whiter and more beatuiful lustre.