Heath family (Ericaceae)
Dwarf evergreen shrub up to 20 cm high. Stems rounded, grey-brown, with limited branching. Leaves leathery, downcurved, elliptical in shape, with dark-green upper side and paler underside, dimensions 1-2 x 0.5-1 cm. Flowers grouped into small pendulous bunches. Corolla bell-shaped, pink or white and 5-6 mm long, with 4-5 petals. Berry-fruits of diameter c. 8 mm start off white, going red later, and are edible if very sour. Flowers May-Jun.
Grows on dry, nutrient-poor soils, in pine-spruce and mixed/coniferous forests, though more rarely in oak forest and marshy coniferous, as well as on heaths and raised bogs. Made into a preserve eaten with dark meats. Also a medicinal plant.
Descriptions devised by the team at the Independent Department of Forest Botany, Warsaw University of Life Sciences, i.e. L. Witkowska-Żuk, K. Marciszewska, W. Ciurzycki, A. Obidziński and P. Zaniewski