The Difference Between a Bilberry & a Blueberry

Written by scott georghiou | 13/05/2017
The Difference Between a Bilberry & a Blueberry
Bilberries or blueberries? (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Bilberries and blueberries look very similar, and it may be difficult to tell them apart. But if you know what to look for, there are easy ways to tell which is which, and why it might matter.

Growing Conditions

The Difference Between a Bilberry & a Blueberry
A typical blueberry bush is easy to cultivate. (Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

The bilberry is native to central and northern Europe, and grows wild in rocky, hilly areas. The bilberry bush is notoriously difficult to cultivate, and the majority of commercially available bilberries are picked by hand, making them more expensive than blueberries. Blueberries are primarily native to North America, although some species have been introduced to parts of Europe. Blueberries are easy to cultivate, and while they can grow in most parts of the continent, the bulk of the blueberries harvested in North America come from Maine and Canada.

Plant Characteristics

The Difference Between a Bilberry & a Blueberry
Blueberries form in clusters. ( Images)

The major difference between bilberry and blueberry bushes involves the way the berries cluster. In bilberry bushes, the berries grow individually, and occasionally in pairs. In contrast, blueberries form in large clusters. If you see blue-coloured berries growing in the wild, check the clustering to tell what kind of berries they are.

Berry Characteristics

The Difference Between a Bilberry & a Blueberry
Blueberries have a "crown" at the end. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

While they may be hard to tell apart alone, it's easy to distinguish a bilberry from a blueberry when you can make a direct comparison. Bilberries are typically smaller than blueberries, and darker in colour. When cut open, bilberry pulp is purple to blue in colour, whereas blueberry pulp is usually a light green. Blueberries tend to have more juice than bilberries, as well as a more noticeable "crown" on the end not connected to the bush.

Health Benefits

The Difference Between a Bilberry & a Blueberry
Blueberries and bilberries have high antioxidant levels. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Bilberries and blueberries are both known for having positive effects on human health. Blueberries are well known for being high in antioxidants and anthocyanins. However, wild bilberries typically contain the same compounds at much higher levels -- up to four times higher. According to, eating blueberries or bilberries regularly can be a good way to keep your skin healthy, prevent acne and even reduce the risk of varicose veins.

  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.