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).
V. myrtillus was mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas. Analysis of the database reveals that the declines from the edge of its range in England have occurred since 1950, reflecting the loss of lowland heathland. It has also declined in C. Ireland, probably for the same reasons. Elsewhere it remains common in suitable habitats.
Eurosiberian Boreal-montane element.
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
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
1978. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 2. 2 vols.
1956. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 56. Vaccinium myrtillus L. Journal of Ecology. 44:291-299.
2000. Studies on the paradox of seedling rarity in Vaccinium myrtillus L. in NE Scotland. Botanical Journal of Scotland. 52:17-30.