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Low-growing deciduous shrub (Vaccinium myrtillus) of the heath family, found in woods and on heaths, chiefly in hilly districts of Britain, northern Europe, and Asia. The stiff stems bear small egg-shaped leaves and small rosy flowers tinged with green. The dark blue, waxy berries are an important food of the grouse and are used for tarts and preserves. They are borne singly, unlike those of the much more productive cultivated blueberries of the U.S. (V. australe), which are borne in long clusters.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on bilberry, visit Britannica.com.