Vaccinium caespitosum (Dwarf Bilberry) - photos and description

Vaccinium caespitosum

Vaccinium caespitosum

Vaccinium caespitosum

Vaccinium caespitosum

Vaccinium caespitosum

Vaccinium caespitosum
Arrows pointing to the only hairs I could see in the field with my loupe

General: Low, dense shrub. The stems are described as puberulent (minutely pubescent) in Budd's Flora, and as glabrous to obscurely (!) puberulent in Flora of Alberta. In the field, most stems appeared glabrous to me when viewed using a loupe, and I had to search to find a plant with what appeared to be few hairs on the stem (arrows pointing to the hairs I could see with my loupe). However, now that I have zoomed in on the photo on my computer, the stem does appear to be puberulent.

Flowers: Pinkish-red, urn shaped flowers, hanging singly or in pairs from leaf axils. Flowers measured to 7 mm long.

Fruit: Blue, edible berry late summer.

Leaves: Leaves shiny, light green in colour, serrate, ovate to obovate. We measured a leaf at 25 mm long and 10 mm wide.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 30 cm, we measured plants from 5 to 21 cm tall.

Habitat: Pine woods in the boreal forest and open slopes in the Cypress Hills.

Abundance: Fairly common, ranked as an S4 by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

How to identify this species: Leaves obovate, toothed, berry blue (Taxonomic Reminder for Recognizing Saskatchewan Plants).

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken June 3rd, on the bottom of a stony, hillside meadow, Cypress Hills, about 400 km southwest of our home in Regina, Saskatchewan.