Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

Lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)


The lingonberry is an evergreen shrub growing to a height of 5–30 cm. The stem of the plant is woody, 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 in shape, red in color and juicy. 


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, and proanthocyanidins.


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


Lingonberries can be used as an ingredient in berry soups, porridge, casseroles, baked goods and juices. 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

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

Helsinki Wildfoods lingonberry

Photos: Pauliina Toivanen, Anna Nyman