Bilberry is any of several species of low-growing shrubs in the genus vaccinium ,bearing edible berries.The species most often referred to is vaccinium myrtillus L., however there are several other closely related species,including blaeberry, whortleberry , (ground) hurts, whinberry,myrtle blueberry and fraughan. The fruit of the bilberry is more black than blue in color and grows on a single stem, unlike the blueberry which grows in clusters.
The bilberry is native to Europe and temperate regions of North America. The herb thrives in heath land, on moors or meadows, and also in moist undergrowth in lightly wooded areas. The bilberry grows well in moist but well drained lime free soils. The plant prefers soils that are rich in peat, while good growth is also observed on light loamy soil that has added leaf moulds or humus. The normal mode of propagation is through seeds. Bilberry seeds are sown in late winter in a lime free potting mixture within a greenhouse - the seeds must be lightly covered with soil and not buried in the seed bed. More than three months may be required by stored seeds to overcome cold stratification. The bilberry is usually harvested for its fruits; this will be done in the wild regions of Europe. Bilberry is harvested during the summer, the fruits and leaves are collected from plants in the wild.Bilberries is rich of the anthocyanosides, approximately 0.5%, they also contain the vitamins B1 and C, pro-vitamin A, at least 7% by volume is composed of tannins, and assorted plant acids are also seen. The tonic effect of the anthocyanosides on the blood vessels is the beneficial to the human body.