General Information
NameEuropean cranberry
Scientific NameVaccinium oxycoccos
DescriptionVaccinium oxycoccos is a species of flowering plant in the heath family. It is known by the common names small cranberry, bog cranberry, and swamp cranberry. It is native to northern North America, Europe, and Asia. This cranberry is a small shrub. It is a trailing vine with leathery lance-shaped leaves up to a centimeter long. Flowers arise on nodding stalks a few centimeters tall. The corolla is white or pink and flexed backward away from the center of the flower. The fruit is a red berry which has spots when young. It measures up to 1.2 centimeters wide. The plant forms associations with mycorrhizae. It mainly reproduces vegetatively. This is a widespread and common species. It is an indicator of moist to wet soils which are low in nitrogen and have a high water table. It is an indicator of coniferous swamps. It grows in bogs and fens in moist forest habitat. It grows on peat which may be saturated most of the time. The soil in bogs is acidic and low in nutrients. The plant's mycorrhizae help it obtain nutrients in this situation. Fens have somewhat less acidic soil, which is also higher in nutrients. The plant can often be found growing on hummocks of Sphagnum mosses. Other species found in this forest understory habitat include leatherleaf (Chamaedaphne calyculata), bog rosemary (Andromeda glaucophylla), bog laurel (Kalmia polifolia), pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea), Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus), rhodora (Rhododendron canadense), glossy buckthorn (Rhamnus frangula), sundew, cottonsedge (Eriophorum virginatum and E. angustifolium), and species of sedge and lichen. The plant easily colonizes bog habitat that has recently burned. It survives fire with its underground rhizomes. This plant has been used as a medicine and as a food by various Native-American communities. A tribe of Eskimo have cooked the cranberry with fish eggs and blubber. 40x40px Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Vaccinium oxycoccos
Primary IDFOOD00217
ITIS ID505635
Wikipedia IDVaccinium oxycoccos
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Content Reference— Rothwell JA, Pérez-Jiménez J, Neveu V, Medina-Ramon A, M'Hiri N, Garcia Lobato P, Manach C, Knox K, Eisner R, Wishart D, Scalbert A. (2013) Phenol-Explorer 3.0: a major update of the Phenol-Explorer database to incorporate data on the effects of food processing on polyphenol content. Database, 10.1093/database/bat070.
— U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2008. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 21. Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page.