CRANBERRY

Vaccinium oxycoccos

Heather Family [Ericaceae]  

Flowers:
month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

Berries: berryZpossible        berryZred  (edible, spotted with white/brown marks)
berry8Aug berry8Sep berry8Sept berry8Oct

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8pink
inner
inner8orange
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ4
stem
stem8round

17th May 2016, Rafland Forest, W of Shap, Cumbria. Photo: © Chris Cant & Caz Walker
A very low-growing plant growing in boggy areas alongside sphagnum and other mosses and bog plants. It grows up to 30cm high but is usually well ensconced within the surrounding vegetation making photography difficult.


17th May 2016, Rafland Forest, W of Shap, Cumbria. Photo: © Chris Cant & Caz Walker
Several un-opened flowers top right showing the azure-blue 4-lobed sepal tube as a shallow cup which is normally hidden by reflexed petals (centre). A recently-opened flower top left has not yet had a chance to fold back its four petals.


21st June 2016, Rafland Forest, W of Shap, Cumbria. Photo: © Chris Cant & Caz Walker
The maroon-coloured upright columns are a moss, as are the leafy green ones.


1st June 2010, Duddon Mosses, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Very short, less than 3 inches high, in amongst moss in very boggy wet ground.


1st June 2010, Duddon Mosses, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Flower small with four pinkish petals, often swept backwards, with orange anthers projecting forwards reminiscent of those of Bittersweet.


1st June 2010, Duddon Mosses, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Flower from the rear, without green sepals, but with cup-shaped domed sepal-tube and 4 short flaps (the sepals). Note short hairs on the reddish, almost translucent, stem. Flowers 6-10mm across (although your Author guesses it might depend on how tightly they are rolled backwards)


1st June 2010, Duddon Mosses, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
With from 1 to 5 flowers on a plant each atop their own reddish stem. Flowers have 4 pink petals swept backwards and 8 stamens bundled together around a central style like those of Bittersweet and other Solanum species.


17th May 2016, Rafland Forest, W of Shap, Cumbria. Photo: © Chris Cant & Caz Walker
Leaves pointed-oval with noticeable fold down the centre-line.


1st June 2010, Duddon Mosses, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves 5-10mm long, alternate and dark-green above but whitish below and shiny on uppermost surface which is in-rolled width-ways.


1st June 2010, Duddon Mosses, Broughton in Furness, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Leaves by transmitted light. Some leaves turn reddish (middle).


21st June 2016, Rafland Forest, W of Shap, Cumbria. Photo: © Chris Cant & Caz Walker
A cranberry, suspended from a thin stalk near ground level.


21st June 2016, Rafland Forest, W of Shap, Cumbria. Photo: © Chris Cant & Caz Walker
Another Cranberry on its way to ripening and being edible.


Some similarities to : Small Cranberry

The flower itself has some resemblance to some flowers belonging to the Nightshade Family, those with swept-back petals and prominent bundled stamens, such as Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) or Duke of Argyles Teaplant (Lycium barbarum). The petals of Cyclamen species such as Sowbread (Cyclamen hederifolia) are also pink but hyper-abruptly swept backwards.

Resemblance to: Bog Rosemary, in that Bog Rosemary is also very short and has the same pink coloured petals (if not the shape) and your feet will be getting wet when you examine it closely for it occupies much the same kind of terrain; wet boggy ground! The aspect ratio of the leaves of Bog Rosemary are narrower and not as stubby as those of Cranberry.

Slight resemblance to : Nightshade type flowers, in that the petals are out-stretched or flayed backwards and the anthers stick out like a tongue.

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Identifiable Feature : the small pink flower, the backward swept petals together with your wet feet.

The Cranberries of American fame have much larger berries than does this Cranberry. The Cranberries in this country are not used in the making of Cranberry jelly.

It is related to the cultivated American Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) from which the larger Cranberry berries are obtained which are used to make cranberry jam, cranberry sauce and cranberry jelly, mainly for the Christmas trade. The berries of Cranberry are red (sometimes spotted white or brown) and, at 8-10mm across, smaller than their American cousins.


  Vaccinium oxycoccos  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Ericaceae  

Distribution
 family8Heather family8Ericaceae

 BSBI maps
genus8Vaccinium
Vaccinium
(Bilberries)

CRANBERRY

Vaccinium oxycoccos

Heather Family [Ericaceae]  

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