An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Small Cranberry Flowering

7-15-14 large cranberry2 127Small Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos) can be found flowering at this time of year in bogs and fens. It is also referred to as Bog Cranberry and Swamp Cranberry. Other than having leaves with edges that are rolled under, a hairy flower stem, and slightly smaller cranberries, it is very similar to its relative, Large Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon). Both possess 3/8-inch flowers that have recurved petals, exposing the anthers and pistils to pollinating bees. One theory as to the derivation of the name “cranberry” is the superficial resemblance of the flower to the neck and head of a crane. The flowers of this creeping shrub rise a few inches above the peat or sphagnum moss. Since the peatlands in which cranberries grow are nutrient poor, Small Cranberry, as do most other members of the Heath Family, maintains a mycorrhizal or symbiotic dependency with root fungi. The fungi enable the roots to absorb nutrients that they would not otherwise be able to access.

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3 responses

  1. Andrea Cardini

    THIS PLANT REMINDS ME OF YOU..SO BEAUTIFUL…THANK YOU MARY HOLLAND!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    July 15, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    • Thank you so much, Andrea! Your kind words have made my day!

      July 15, 2014 at 4:20 pm

  2. I have never realized that cranberries and blueberries are the same genus. Love learning new things!

    July 16, 2014 at 1:50 am

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