Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

January 08, 2018

Identification

The lingonberry is a evergreen shrub growing to a height of 5–30 cm. The stem of the plant are woody and the leaves have a waxy surface and are green on top and light green underneath. The lingonberry flowers in June–July. The bitter-tasting lingonberry is globose, red and juicy. 

Habitat

Xeric, sub-xeric, mesic boreal forests, pine or spruce bogs, in herb-rich forests, on rocky outcrops, on tundra heaths and at the edges of fields.

Foraging season

The best time to pick lingonberries is from late August to early October.

Nutritional values

Lingonberries contain a significant amount of vitamin E and many different types of polyphenols. The lingonberry is rich in manganese and is also a good source of fibre. It also contains resveratrol, lignans, proanthocyanidins and resveratrol. 

Benefits

Lingonberries contain more polyphenol flavonoids than any other type of berry. Health claims related to lingonberry are at the moment in European Food Safety Authority EFSA's register (EU Register of nutrition and health claims made on foods) waiting for verification.

Use

Lingonberries can be used as an ingredient in berry soups, porridge, casseroles, baked goods and juice. The berry is preserved by freezing, crushing, or boiling to make jelly or jam. Lingonberries have traditionally been used as a garnish for meat dishes. 

To be noted

Lingoberry might be mixed with bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).

Want to taste them? Our products containing wild lingonberries are Wild Berry Bowl, freeze dried whole Wild Berries and Lingonberry Birch Sugar.

 

Helsinki Wildfoods lingonberry

Photos: Pauliina Toivanen, Anna Nyman

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