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Vaccinium cespitosum (Dwarf bilberry)
Cressler, Alan

Vaccinium cespitosum

Vaccinium cespitosum Michx.

Dwarf Bilberry, Dwarf Blueberry, Dwarf Huckleberry

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s): Vaccinium arbuscula, Vaccinium caespitosum, Vaccinium caespitosum var. arbuscula, Vaccinium caespitosum var. caespitosum, Vaccinium caespitosum var. paludicola, Vaccinium cespitosum var. arbuscula, Vaccinium cespitosum var. cespitosum, Vaccinium cespitosum var. paludicola, Vaccinium nivictum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N)

Spreading widely by rootstocks and forming mats, Dwarf Blueberry is 6-18 in. tall with small, light green leaves. Flowers are single in leaf axils, whitish-pink and tubular. The sweet, edible berry is glaucous-blue.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Berry
Size Notes: Up to about 18 inches tall.
Leaf: Green.
Fruit: Black, Blue.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , CA , CO , ID , ME , MI , MN , MT , NH , NM , NV , NY , OR , UT , VT , WA , WI , WY
Canada: AB , BC , NB , NS , ON
Native Distribution: AK to CA, e. through ID to the Rockies; e. in Canada & through n. states, to the Atlantic Coast
Native Habitat: Gravelly or rocky meadows, openings & mt. slopes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Sun
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Gravelly or rocky soils.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Heath Sulphur (Colias chippewa), Northern Blue butterfly (Lycaeides idas)

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 36 - Jepson eFlora (2019) The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley
Webref 26 - Minnesota Wildflowers: a field guide to the flora of Minnesota (2009)
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Vaccinium cespitosum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Vaccinium cespitosum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Vaccinium cespitosum


Record Modified: 2023-03-01
Research By: TWC Staff

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