Mountain Cranberry
Vaccinium vitis-idaea
Family Ericaceae

* Leaves small, evergreen, smooth,dotted beneath with black, 1/4-3/4".
* Flowers pink, bell-shaped, without the recurved petals of other cranberries.
* Berries red, round, with white flesh, less than 1/4".
* Height: 2-7"; the shrub often forms dense mats.

Natural History:
* Flowers June - July.
* Fruits August - September.
* Habitat: Bogs, open rocky areas such as the tops of bald mountains.
* Range: Subarctic Canada to the northern border of the United States, from Minnesota to northern New England.
* Native, also found in Eurasia.

* Peoples of the north have relied on mountain cranberry for food for centuries; in Scandinavia, the Swedes call it lingon, and in England it is known as Lingberry and Crowberry. Henry David Thoreau wrote that in Maine, cranberries "...stewed and sweetened, were the common dessert." (1846)

* Mountain cranberries, according to naturalist John Gerard in 1633, "...are of an excellent red colour, and full of juyce; of so orient and beautifull a purple to [dye] withall... they make the fairest carnation colour in the world."


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008