Vaccinium macrocarpon
(Large Cranberry)

Other pictures of this plant:

               Seedpod                                           Leaf                                            Stem                                        Seed                                          Habit

Facts About this Plant:

    Common Names: Large Cranberry, American Cranberry, Cranberry
    Synonyms: Oxycoccus macrocarpus
    Lifespan: Perennial
    Zones: 2 - 6
    Type: Forb
    Bloom Time: June - August
    Status: Native

Vaccinium macrocarpon, or Large Cranberry, is native to most of the northeastern quarter of the US, and is also adventive in just a few places in the Pacific Northwest. It is a hardy perennial, which grows in moist, even wet, acidic areas, like swamp margins, bogs and lake margins. It blooms in early to mid summer with white to light pink flowers. This is the plant that cranberries from the store are made from.

This plant is quite distinct, as it grows differently than most Vaccinium species - most are small bushes, but this plant, along with its cousin, Vaccinium oxycoccus are vines that have small leaves and grow in very wet areas. Vaccinium macrocarpon has larger berries and its flowers are typically lighter white or pink than its cousin, but these are not necessarily always reliable to identify; the best way to tell them apart is by the leaves: Vaccinium macrocarpon has larger leaves with rounded ends; Vaccinium oxycoccus, usually has pinker flowers and smaller cranberry fruits, and its leaves are smaller and come to a point on the end. See below for a comparison:

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