Fall Wildflowers of New England
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Cranberry
Vaccinium macrocarpon
F. Ericaceae
General Description:

Cranberry is a small shrub with relatively short trailing branches that measure approximately 20 cm in length. The clustered, white flowers of this plant are small and have reflexed petals. The stem is robust having several, thick, ovate leaves along its length. Cranberry bears conspicuous, round, red berries when in fruit.

Vaccinium marcocarpon
Flowers:

The flowers of the cranberry are small, measuring 1.5 cm. in width. Each bloom has four thin white petals that are acutely reflexed, exposing a dark, elongated central cone of 8-10 fused stamens. Flowers are sparsely arranged in nodding, rounded clusters along the length of the branches.

Fruit:

The berry-fruit of the cranberry are round, medium-sized, and bright-red.

Leaves:

The robust leaves of this wildflowers measure 5-16 mm. in length and are ovate in shape. They are several and are arranged along the length of the branches and stem. The upper surface of each leaf is bright glossy green and the underside is a dull, powdery-white.

Habitat:

Cranberry grows best in open bogs, swamps, and along lakesides.

Fun Facts:

Cranberry is a popular, commercially harvested crop that is largely produced in Cape Cod.

This aquatic wildflower was originally called “craneberry” because the nodding, elongated bloom resembled the head of the crane.

Vaccinium macrocarpon
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