Blueberry bush (scientific name Vaccinium myrtillus L.), with its various popular names: bilberry, wimberry, whortleberry, blaeberry, hurtleberry, huckleberry, wimberry, whinberry, winberry, and fraughan is a bush of the Ericaceae family. It can be found in Europe, North Asia, Greenland, West Canada and the West of the United States.
It can be propagated by sowing or by cuttings obtained from the lateral branches that are rooted in peat with a mixture of sand. For this, moderate humidity and a temperature of 18-25°C must be ensured.
Vaccinium myrtillus is a small shrub, thick, leafy, with a green stem, about 30-60 cm long, with angular branches. The leaves are short-petiolate, small, oval, denticulate (notched on the edges), green on both sides. The flowers are red, white or pinkish green with petals in the form of a bell, disposed 1-2 in the leaf axilla. Blooms in May-June.
The fruit is called blueberry and it havea dark blue or white-blue color, round shape, 0.5 to 0.6 cm in diameter, juicy, with a purple juice and sweet and sour taste.
Leaves and blueberry fruits have astringent properties due to tannin. They have antibacterial activity, favorably modifying intestinal pathogenic flora, and it’s antidiabetic.
It is recommended in diabetes (low blood sugar), gout, enterocolitis (fermentation or rotting colitis), intestinal parasitosis, urinary tract infections, uremia, as a minor antiseptic (bacteriostatic) and diuretic as well as in rheumatism, dermatological disorders, peripheral circulatory disorders, urethritis, somatites, eczema, chronic bleeding ulcer. The leaves are in the composition of dietary tea.
Blueberries are used to get the Afinata (blueberry liqueur), a pretty good alcohol drink, or in cakes and other sweets.
The leaves, along with the branches, are collected during the summer to autumn, from May to September, after which they dry with the branches in the shade, in well-ventilated places. Fruits are picked during maturity (when well riped) in July-September, and are consumed either fresh or dried.
For the harvesting of the blueberries it’s used a “comb” consisting of parallel steel wires, located at the distance “D” between them, fastened in a handle, which is tilted so that the harvested blueberries are gathered at the base of the instrument (ie towards the handle). Distance “D” is very important. If the wires are too spaced, the blueberries will fall through the wires, if the wires are too dense, they will damage the leaves and branches, destroying the blueberry bush. Of course, the wires are rounded at the free end.
Fruits are separated from the leaves by sinking them in a bowl of water, they dry in the sun, and are laid on mesh shelves. They are stored in airy, dust-free, heated rooms. Then they are put in paper bags or sacks.