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Bilberries - Blåbær | by jensvins
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Bilberries - Blåbær

These are often called blueberries, but they are only related to the north american species.

The leaves on the low-growing shrubs sometimes go from green to red in autumn, depending on the amount of sunlight. The berries have a wax coat making them look blue, when washed off by rain or worn off in the hand they are almost black.


Wikipedia says:

Bilberry (especially Vaccinium myrtillus) is known by a very wide range of local names. As well as "bilberry", these include blaeberry, whortleberry (pronounced /ˈhɜrtəlbɛri/), (ground) hurts, whinberry, winberry, wimberry, myrtle blueberry and fraughan. In several other European languages its name translates as "blueberry" [JV: Norwegian name "blåbær" means "blue berries"] and this may cause confusion with the related plants more usually known as "blueberry" in English – those in section Oxycoccus of the Vaccinium genus.

The fruit is smaller than that of the blueberry but with a fuller taste. Bilberries are darker in colour, and usually appear near black with a slight shade of blue. While the blueberry's fruit pulp is light green, the bilberry's is red or purple, heavily staining the fingers and lips of consumers eating the raw fruit. The red juice is used by European dentists to show children how to brush their teeth correctly, as any improperly brushed areas will be heavily stained.

Bilberries are extremely difficult to grow and are thus seldom cultivated.

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Taken on August 12, 2010