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Bilberry vs Blueberry

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) is a small shrub growing on hilly heaths and underbush throughout Central and Northern Europe. It grows wild in the Northern European forests and, differently from blueberry, that is a cultivated hybrid of three native American species (V.corymbosum, V. ashei and V. angustifolium), its fruits are not produced in clusters, but only as single, or rarely, twin fruit. Additionally differences between these two berries are the fruit size, as bilberries are smaller and darker than blueberries, and the pulp color. 

Vaccinium (bilberry) fruits
Bilberry bush with single fruits




Blueberry bush with cluster fruits
Blueberry bush with cluster fruits


Bilberries pulp is blue, that of blueberries is greenish. While bilberries are harder, less juicy and easier to transport than blueberries.

Video on the differences between blueberries and bilberries 2013 Indena S.p.A.


Bilberry vs blueberry pulp.
Bilberry red flesh vs blueberry greenish pulp.


Crown differences in bilberries and blueberries
Flesh color and crown differences in bilberries and blueberries


Bilberries are hand picked while blueberries are machinery picked


Bilberry picker in Sweden           bilberry pickers in Sweden
Bilberry pickers in Sweden


Bilberry just after picking in Sweden


Finally bilberries and blueberries have a different phytochemical profile and anthocyanins content of bilberry fresh fruits is almost 4 times higher in bilberries  than in blueberries.

Bilberry HPLC fingerprint
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus L.) HPLC fingerprint

Blueberry HPLC fingerprint
Blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) HPLC fingerprint



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More pictures        



Mirtoselect - The original bilberry extract


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