Vaccinium myrtillisis a species of shrub with edible fruit of blue colour, commonly called “bilberry”, “wimberry”, “whortleberry”, or European blueberry. Bilberry is a perennial plant of the heather family (Ericaceae) and is closely related to the blueberry, cranberry, and the huckleberry.
Vaccinium myrtillisis is found natively in Europe, Northern Asia, Greenland, Iceland, Western Canada, and the Western United States. It occurs in the wild on heath lands and acidic soils.
Since many people refer to “blueberries”, no matter if they mean the bilberry (European blueberry) Vaccinium myrtillisis or the American blueberries, there is a lot of confusion about the two closely similar fruits.
The use of bilberry as a medicinal herb goes back as far as the 16th century.