Vaccinium vitis-idaea

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaEricaceaeVacciniumVaccinium vitis-idaea


This calcifuge shrub is found on peaty heaths and moorland, in the understorey of Quercus, Betula and Pinus woods on acidic substrates, and on drier hummocks in blanket bogs. It ascends from 30 m by Lough Neagh (Co. Antrim) to 1095 m on Ben Lawers (Mid Perth).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreo-arctic Montane element.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 5

Reaction (Ellenberg): 2

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 2.2

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 12.9

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1474

Life form information

Height (cm): 30

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary


Comment on Life Form

dwarf shrub



Clonality - primary

Rhizome far-creeping

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 938

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 89

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.18

Weighted Changed Factor: 5

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 (195c)
Grime JP, Hodgson JG, Hunt R
1988.  Comparative Plant Ecology.
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
1955.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 51. Vaccinium vitis-idaea L. Journal of Ecology. 43:701-708.