Vaccinium macrocarpon - Cranberry


Low, prostrate mat, usually less than 1 ft. Small, glossy, leathery leaves, bronze in spring and dark-green in summer, turn a variety of colors in fall. White to pink, tube-shaped flowers in nodding clusters and followed by a dark red, edible fruit. The ascending branches of this evergreen, trailing shrub have nodding, pinkish-white flowers with 4 backward- pointing petals in clusters arising in the leaf axils. Cultivated cranberry varieties developed from this native species are grown extensively on Cape Cod and in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey. Wild cranberries often form low dense masses over peaty, boggy areas. The berries are ready for picking in the fall.