Blaeberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is a key component of the Caledonian Forest ground flora, and an important food source for a wide range of wildlife. In Scotland, blaeberry occurs throughout the country, but it is most abundant in the Highlands.
Blaeberry is a small perennial shrub in the heather family, Ericaceae. It grows to a height of up to 90 cm in woodland, but is usually only 60 cm tall, and on heaths and moorland it rarely exceeds 25 cm.
The flowers appear in May, soon after the new leaves, and are waxy and pinkish-red in colour. They are bell-shaped and are up to 6 mm in diameter. It typically grows on areas of better-drained, acid soils and does best in shady conditions, underneath the canopy of trees.