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Vaccinium macrocarpon

Vaccinium macrocarpon Aiton

Oxycoccus macrocarpus (Aiton) Pursh

American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEricalesTea, persimmon, blueberry, Brazil nut, azalea, many others
FamilyEricaceaeHeath or heather family
GenusVacciniumAncient Latin name for billberry
Speciesmacrocarpon“With large fruits or seedpods”

About plant names...

Cranberries are low, creeping shrubs with a fondness for acidic bogs.

Identification: Cranberries are vine-like, creeping up to 6' (1.8 m) horizontally, but less than 8" (20 cm) high. If you aren’t standing or floating in a bog, you probably aren’t looking at cranberries. Flowers are pale pink or white, about ½" (1.3 cm) long, with four petals that curve strongly backward. Berries are ½-1" (1.3-2.5 cm) in diameter and quite hard, like tiny apples. Leaves are about ½" (1.3 cm) long, oval, shiny on top. See also the small cranberry.

This Vaccinium comparison chart also includes a couple of similar-appearing species that are not Vaccinium.

Edibility: Cranberries are too tart to eat fresh, but they have long been made into jams, cakes, muffins, and juice.

Medical: Several medical studies have explored the folk belief that regular consumption of cranberry juice reduces the rate of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in women. Results were mixed.

Online References:

Vaccinium macrocarpon on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Vaccinium macrocarpon on the Connecticut Botanical Society's Connecticut wildflowers site

Vaccinium macrocarpon at the University of Wisconsin's Robert W. Freckmann Herbarium

Vaccinium macrocarpon at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Vaccinium macrocarpon at the New England Wild Flower Society

Vaccinium macrocarpon at the Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

Vaccinium macrocarpon on www.umass.edu (PDF)

Vaccinium macrocarpon on Plants for a Future, a resource and information centre for edible and otherwise useful plants

Vaccinium macrocarpon at the Steven Foster Group

Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry)

No, that’s not a cranberry flower. · 9/16/2016 · Sieur de Monts Botanical Gardens, Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, ME

Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry)

8/18/2013 · Bemis Road, Townsend, MA
≈ 6 × 9" (15 × 22 cm)

Vaccinium macrocarpon description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 15 Oct 2013.

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Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry)

9/1/2012 · Bemis Rd Conservation Area, Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (23 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry)

4/14/2013 · Bemis Rd, Pepperell, MA ID is uncertain

Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry)

8/1/2009 · Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME
≈ 13 × 9" (33 × 22 cm)

Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry)

9/1/2012 · Bemis Rd Conservation Area, Pepperell, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 14 cm) ID is uncertain

Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry)

8/1/2009 · Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, ME
≈ 29 × 20" (74 × 49 cm)

Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry)

9/1/2012 · Bemis Rd Conservation Area, Pepperell, MA
≈ 8 × 5" (19 × 13 cm) ID is uncertain

Vaccinium macrocarpon (American Cranberry, Cranberry, Large Cranberry)

8/18/2013 · Bemis Road, Townsend, MA
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm)

Range:

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