(bilberry; family Ericaceae)
A genus of mostly low shrubs, often evergreen, with alternate, simple leaves, tetra- or pentamerous flowers with mostly bell- or urn-shaped corollas and inferior ovaries, and berry-like fruits. There are some 450 species, found mostly in the northern (temperate zone and the Arctic, with some tropical mountain outliers. Several species are cultivated, particularly the American cranberry (V. macrocarpon), with reflexed corolla lobes, from whose berries cranberry sauce is made; European cranberry (V. oxycoccos) is a similar but smaller species, also with edible berries, found in bogs throughout the northern temperate zone.
Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.