A low, much-branched deciduous shrub usually under 1 ft high; shoots very downy, even bristly. Leaves 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. long, 1⁄8 to 1⁄2 in. wide, narrowly oval, pointed, not toothed, downy on both sides. Flowers produced during May along with the young leaves in short dense clusters. Corolla bell-shaped, 1⁄4 in. or less long, white tinged with red. Berries blue-black, 1⁄4 in. or more wide, very agreeably flavoured. Bot. Mag., t. 3446.
Native of eastern N. America; introduced in 1834. It has been much confused in gardens with the various forms of V. angustifolium, but is readily distinguished by its very downy entire leaves. Like that species, it gives a valuable wild fruit, its berries ripening later, and forming a useful succession to the other in N. America.
It is a matter of controversy whether this is the species described by Michaux as V. myrtilloides. Some authorities have adopted this name (1803) and reduced V. canadense Richards. (1823) to synonymy under it. Others hold that V. myrtilloides was simply a downy variety of V. angustifolium, var. myrtilloides (Michx.) House.