The bilberry is a sweet little fruit that is similar in taste to a blueberry, but is smaller in size and bigger in flavor.  The skin is a violet-black with a light green fleshy interior.

Because these little fruits are fragile and extremely difficult to cultivate, they are wild-harvested and are considered a delicacy in Europe, where they naturally occur.  

Other names the bilberry is known by are blaeberry, whortleberry, hurts, whinberry, black-hearts, winberry, windberry, wimberry, myrtle blueberry and fraughan, whortleberry, black whortles, trackleberry, hurts, airlle, vaccinium frondsum and blueberries.

Known Varieties: 

At least 6

When in season: 
How to select: 

Bilberries do not ripen once picked.  The deeply colored ones are the sweetest and most flavorful. Store them in the refrigerator and use them as quickly as possible. The flavor is sweet/tart.

How to eat: 

These berries can be eaten straight from the bush they grow on.  Both the skin and the flesh are edible.

Native to: 

Northern Europe


The bilberry has a long history in Europe as a medicine.

Medicinal uses: 

The bilberry is known to improve eyesight and heal diseases of the eye.  It is also used to treat circulatory problems, diarrhea and menstrual cramping.

Nutritional Highlights: 

Bilberries are high in anthocyanosides, plant pigments that act as antioxidants, which combat free radicals, helping to prevent cell damage.