Vaccinium myrtillus L. is a deciduous small shrublet growing on hilly heaths and underbrush mainly throughout central and northern Europe (1 – 5).
The origin of the name “Vaccinium” is uncertain: it could derive from the Latin words “vacca” = cow or
“bacca” = berry. The name “myrtillus”, instead, derives from the likeness of fruits and leaves to those of the
myrtle (3, 4, 6).In the past, the fruits of V. myrtillus have been used as a food for their high nutritive value, while today represent a precious wild delicacy.
The genus Vaccinium includes, worldwide, 450 species (7). Mirtoselect® is obtained exclusively from Vaccinium myrtillus L. fresh fruits that are harvested when ripe, between July and September.
- Tutin T.G., Heywood V.H., Burges N.A., Moore D.M., Valentine D.H, Walters S.M., Webb D.A. (Eds.), “Flora Europaea”, Vol. 3, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1972, pp 12-13.
- J. Hutchinson, “British Wild Flowers”, Vol. 1, David and Charles, Newton Abbot, 1972, p 226.
- Benigni R., Capra C., Cattorini P.E., “Piante Medicinali – Chimica, farmacologia e terapia”, Vol. II, Inverni della Beffa, Milano, 1962, pp 951-958.
- Hegi G., “Illustrierte Flora von Mittel Europa”, Band 5/3 Teil, C. Hanser Verlag, Munchen, 1927 (Reprint 1966), pp 1667-1681.
- Upton R., “American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and Therapeutic Compendium – Bilberry Fruit”, 2001.
- Grieve M., “A Modern Herbal”, Vol.I, Hafner Publishing Co., New York and London, 1967, pp 99-100.
- “The Plant-Book”, D.J. Mabberly, II ed., Cambridge University Press, 1997