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(Vacciniaceae), a family of dicotyledonous plants closely related to Ericaceae (with which they are often joined). The majority of Vacciniaceae are semishrubs, small shrubs, and bushes with simple leaves. The flowers are bisexual with free stamens. The ovary is inferior or semiinferior. The fruit is a meaty, dry or leathery berry, and rarely, boll-like. There are approximately 35 genera and 800 species, mainly in tropical and subtropical America; species of the genus Vaccinium, which includes whortleberry, red bilberry, blueberry, and other useful plants, grow in the temperate regions of the northern hemisphere and also in the mountains of tropical and subtropical America, South Africa, and Madagascar. In the USSR there are two genera and nine species of huckleberries, among which, other than those previously mentioned, the cranberry has food value. Some huckleberries are raised as decorative plants.