A cold early summer can rob a forest of its berries
Dwarf shrubs – the bilberry and the lingonberry – thrive in coniferous forests. The bilberry, which prefers young coniferous forests, flowers in late May, producing small, reddish and pitcher-like flowers. The crop of berries produced each summer depends on successful flowering; a cold period reduces the number of pollinators, and if worst comes to worst, the flowers themselves may end up dying of frost. However, there is hardly ever a risk of this happening on islands, as a result of which there always are plenty of bilberries to be found on Ruissalo from July onwards. The lingonberry, which prefers dryer coniferous forests, doesn’t flower until June, by which time the weather is usually more summery, as a result of which lingonberry harvests are more consistent than bilberry ones.