Vaccinium oxycoccos L.
bog cranberry
Ericaceae (Crowberry family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© David Blevins     (Photo ID #509)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Vaccinium oxycoccos
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Species Information

Small, creeping shrub; stems very slender, 15-50 cm long, 0.2-1 mm thick, glabrous to finely hairy.
Evergreen, alternate, leathery, egg- to lance-shaped, tapering to tip, 2-10 mm long, 1-5 mm wide, deep green and shining on the upper surface, greyish beneath, margins rolled under.
In apparently terminal clusters of 1 to several, or sometimes lateral; flower stalks very slender, 2-5 cm long, glabrous or finely hairy, curved downward near summit at flowering, erect in fruit, with 2 bracts, 1-2.5 mm long, usually below midlength of the stalk; corollas deep pink, of 4 distinct petals, oblong to oblong-lanceolate, 5-8 mm long, curved back; calyx lobes 4, less than 1 mm long; stamens 8, filaments hairy on margins and at least half as long as the anthers; anthers unawned, with terminal tubes.
Berries, 5-12 mm wide, pale-pink to deep red.
Some authors split this taxon into two or more species. Recent studies suggest that this is unwarranted (Vander Kloet 1983). 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.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.

Habitat and Range

Bogs in the lowland and montane zones; frequent throughout BC; circumboreal, N to AK, YT, and NT, E to NB and NS, and S to OR, ID, and MN; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Oxycoccus oxycoccos (Linnaeus) MacMillan