Does Bilberry Grow In Canada?
Answered by: Conrad Richter
Question from: Pam and Albert Scott
Posted on: August 9, 2000

I recently read an article about the benefits of bilberries and bilberry jam for health conditions, especially eye problems such as macular degeneration, glaucoma, etc. Apparently fighter pilots in England ate the jam before going on night missions. I would like to know whether bilberries grow in Canada, or whether bilberry jam is sold in Canada.

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) is closely related to our native blueberries; however, the bilberry species that is used for medicinal purposes is not found in the wild in Canada; it is a native of Europe and Asia.

It is hardy and will grow in Canada, but it is hard to grow it from seeds. The seeds require cold stratification to germinate.

We have not seen bilberry jams in Canada, but bilberry herbal supplements are available. Check your local health food store.

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