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Whortelberry

Whortelberry

Scientific Name: Vaccinium uliginosum

Other Names: Bog billberry, Bog whortelberry

Vaccinium uliginosum is native to cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, at low altitudes in the Arctic, and at high altitudes south to the Pyrenees, the Alps, and the Caucasus in Europe, the mountains of Mongolia, northern China and central Japan in Asia, and the Sierra Nevada in California and the Rocky Mountains in Utah in North America. It grows on wet acidic soils on heathland, moorland, tundra, and in the understory of coniferous forests, from sea level in the Arctic, up to 3,400 metres (11,200 ft) altitude in the south of the range. The berries are edible and juicy. These taste sweet and are believed to be nutritious. Some say that whotelberry fruits can cause headache if eaten in large quantity. The fruit can also be dried and used like raisins. The leaves are also dried and used as tea in some areas. Whortelberry leaves are reported to be antiseptic, astringent, carminative, hypnotic and hypoglycaemic.