E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton
American cranberry (large cranberry)
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Steve Henstra  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #31285)

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Distribution of Vaccinium macrocarpon
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Species Information

Creeping shrub; stems slender, 10-40 cm long, sometimes finely hairy when young.
Evergreen, alternate, leathery, narrowly elliptic-oblong to oblong, 7-15 mm long, glossy above, very pale beneath, margins slightly rolled under; stalks about 1 mm long.
Lateral on leafy branches, single in the axils of reduced leaves at base of current shoots; flower stalks 2-4 cm long, glabrous or hairy, curved at flowering, with 2 leaf-like bracts, 3-10 mm long, well above the midlength of the stalk; corollas deep pink, of 4 distinct narrow petals, 6-10 mm long, spreading or curved back; calyx lobes 4; stamens 8, filaments broad, sparsely hairy on margins, about 1/3 the length of the anther sacs; anthers unawned, with terminal tubes.
Berries, globe-shaped, 10-20 mm wide, deep red.
Although sometimes considered part of the genus Vaccinium, Oxycoccus is treated separately here (as in many other floras). The flowers of Oxycoccus are 4-merous and the corollas are deeply parted, with only the base being joined. In contrast, the corollas of Vaccinium are united and generally only toothed or undulating at the summit. The differences in the flowers and growth habit seem to justify the separation.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to wet bogs and ditches in the lowland zone; rare escape from cultivation in SW BC (lower Fraser R. valley); introduced from NE North America.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Oxycoccus macrocarpus Pers.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References