Vaccinium myrtillus

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaEricaceaeVacciniumVaccinium myrtillus


A calcifugous low shrub, common and locally dominant in well-drained heaths and moorland, especially in upland areas, and as an understorey in acid woodland of Betula, Pinus and Quercus; also found on hummocks in peat bogs in the north and west. It rarely regenerates from seed. 0-1300 m (Ben Macdui, S. Aberdeen).



World Distribution

Eurosiberian Boreal-montane element.

© P. Shannon

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 2

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 3.3

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1243

Life form information

Height (cm): 50

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary


Life Form - secondary


Comment on Life Form

dwarf shrub



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 1886

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 701

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 1

Atlas Change Index: -0.61

Weighted Changed Factor: -11

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (195d)
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Rauschert S, Weinert E
1978.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
Ritchie JC
1956.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 56. Vaccinium myrtillus L. Journal of Ecology. 44:291-299.
Welch D, Scott D, Doyle S
2000.  Studies on the paradox of seedling rarity in Vaccinium myrtillus L. in NE Scotland. Botanical Journal of Scotland. 52:17-30.