Vaccinium vitis-idaea, also known as cowberry, mountain cranberry, partridgeberry, lingonberry, is an evergreen shrub from the Ericaceae (heath) family.
It is endemic to arctic tundra and boreal forests across the northern hemisphere, from Asia and Europe to North America. Cowberries are harvested wild and used in various Alaska, Canada, Russia, and the Northern Baltic dishes.
The genus includes around 450 species of flowering plants.
Cowberry spreads through underground stems to form dense clonal colonies. The brittle and slender roots grow from the underground stems.
The stems have a rounded cross-section and reach 10 to 40 cm in height. The leaves are oval and grow alternately, 5 to 30 mm long, with a slightly wavy edge and a notched tip.
The bell-shaped flowers are pale-pink to white, 3 to 8 mm long. The flowers typically bloom in early summer.