I read in HORTUS THIRD that there are about 150 species of Vaccinium found in “cool temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere,” 40 of which are found in North America. In this episode I rattle off some of the common names I came across, but think of all the hundreds of names indigenous peoples must have given to these shrubs. Pretty cool.
I love the common name whortleberry and there are other Vaccinium species called whortleberry. Lingonberry is red whortleberry or bilberry is bog whortleberry and the list goes on. It’s all wonderfully confusing.
If my hunt and gather for whortleberry in the Chiricahua Mountains is successful I will label the plants Chiricahua whortleberry, (Vaccinium myrtillus). Yay!
The photos are mine of the snow covered peaks of the Chiricahua Mountains where whortleberry awaits.