is any of the several species of low-growing shrubs in the genus Vaccinium, in the family Ericaceae. Vaccinium mytillus
is the most referred to species in the genus. It is also known as blaeberry, whortleberry, myrtle blueberry, fraughan, ground hurts, whinberry, winberry and wimberry.
Bilberry can be found growing in very acidic, nutrient-poor soils throughout the temperate and subarctic regions of the world. It is closely related to North American wild and cultivated blueberries and huckleberries. The fruit or berry is borne singly or in pairs on the bush, instead of clusters as in the blueberry.
Bilberry is smaller than blueberry, and are darker in color, appearing almost black with a slight blue shade. The bilberry's pulp is red or purple, heavily staining the fingers and lips of the consumers eating the raw fruit. Bilberries are softer and juicier than blueberries, making them difficult to pick and to transport. Bilberries are only available fresh in gourmet stores, but frozen bilberries are available all year round in Europe.
Bilberries can be eaten fresh or made into jams, fools, juices and pies. Bilberries contain high levels of anthocyanin pigments, which help in lowering the risks for several diseases, such as heart and cardiovascular system, eyes, diabetes and cancer. Consumption of bilberries can inhibit or reverse eye disorders such as macular degeneration.