Vaccinium vitis-idaea
Common name: 
Cowberry
Lingonberry
Pronunciation: 
vak-SIN-ee-um VI-tis-i-DE-a
Family: 
Ericaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Evergreen ground cover, 6-12 inches (15-30 cm).  Spreads by underground runners.  Leaves alternate, oval to obovate, 0.9-2.5 cm long, often notched at apex, leathery, lustrous green upper, lower surface spiked with brown/black dots (glands).   Small bell-shaped flowers are white to pink in spring, borne terminally.  Fruit dark red, 1 cm diam., edible, acid to taste.
  • Sun to part shade, but does well in moist peaty soil in full sun.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 5      Native to the mountains of Europe and northern Asia.
  • V. vitis-idaea  var. minus is actually the Lingonberry of commerce, it is lower growing and hardier (USDA Zone 2).
  • vitis-idaea: grape (vitis) of Mt. Ida (the highest mountain of the island of Crete)
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: near southeast entrance to Ag. and Life Sciences.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, Alaska bog

    plant habit, Alaska bog

  • plant habit

    plant habit

  • leafy shoots and fruit

    leafy shoots and fruit

  • flowers, fruit and leaves

    flowers, fruit and leaves

  • leaves, flowers and fruit, "portrait"

    leaves, flowers and fruit, "portrait"

  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison

  • leaf underside

    leaf underside