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(Vaccinium vitis-idaea), a shrub of the subfamily Vacciniaceae (or of the family Ericaceae, if it is understood in the broad sense). The plant is up to 25 cm tall, with leathery evergreen leaves and pale pink flowers, which are gathered into thick clusters. The fruits are numerous globular bright red edible berries. The cowberry grows in coniferous and mixed forests, in brush, tundra, and dried-up peat bogs of northern and central Europe, Asia, and North America. In the USSR cowberries grow in the entire forest zone, in the tundra, and in the mountains of the Caucasus. The berries of the cowberry contain large quantities of sugar and organic acids, as well as vaccinin, and other substances. The berries keep well in fresh and soaked form and are used for preserves, jams, and marinades, as well as by the candy industry. A decoction of cowberry leaves is sometimes used as a diuretic substance.