Ericaceac (Heath Family)
General - dwarf, mat-forming, evergreen shrub, 10-20 cm tall; many branches, creeping or trailing.
Leaves - alternate; small, leathery, narrowly elliptic to egg-shaped, 6 - 15 mm long, rounded at tip, shiny, dark green above, pale with dark dots below; edges smooth, rolled under.
Flowers - few, in short clusters at branch tips; drooping, pinkish, cup-shaped, with 4 short lobes, about 5 mm long; appearing late May to early July.
Fruit - red berries, 5-10 mm across, edible but acidic; ripening in August and September.
Raised areas in bogs, moist forests, rocky barrens, open slopes and dry woods; very common and widespread across NW Ontario's boreal forest, north past treeline to southern arctic islands; circumpolar.
Under certain site/soil conditions the Lingonberry may be confused with the Bearberry. Although berries of both species are palatable, they are best suited for the preparation of preserves.
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