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Useful Temperate Plants

Vaccinium oxycoccos

L.

Ericaceae


The name of this species is sometimes spelt Vaccinium oxycoccus, but the original spelling was Vaccinium oxycoccos and this is the form that should be used(International Plant Names Index)

+ Synonyms

Oxycoca vulgaris Raf.

Oxycoccus hagerupii Á.Löve & D.Löve

Oxycoccus intermedius (A.Gray) Rydb.

Oxycoccus microcarpus Turcz. ex Rupr.

Oxycoccus ovalifolius (Michx.) A.E.Porsild

Oxycoccus oxycoccos (L.) MacMill.

Oxycoccus palustris Pers.

Oxycoccus quadripetalus Schinz & Thell.

Oxycoccus vulgaris Hill

Schollera europaea Steud.

Schollera oxycoccos (L.) Roth

Schollera paludosa Baumg.

Schollera palustris Steud.

Vaccinium microcarpum (Turcz. ex Rupr.) Schmalh.

Common Name: Small Cranberry

No Image.

General Information

Vaccinium oxycoccos is an evergreen shrub producing sparsely-branched, long, thin, wiry, more or less procumbent stems with erect to ascending branches 1 - 15cm tall. The plant grows from a rhizomatous rootstock with rhizomes up to 80cm long, forming in time a mat of growth[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
].
The plant is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials. It is sometimes harvested in large quantities that can be sold commercially[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. It is sometimes grown as an ornamental in gardens, where it can be used as a ground cover.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.

Range

Europe - Norway to France, east to European Russia, Balkans; E. Asia - Siberia to China, Japan, Korea; N. America- Far North to California, Maryland

Habitat

Acid boggy land[
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
]. Half buried in Sphagnum hummocks in bogs, fens, muskeg, arctic-alpine tundra; at elevations from sea level to 1,500 metres[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Shrub
Height0.10 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBees, Self
Self-fertileYes
Cultivation StatusOrnamental, Semi-cultivated, Wild

Cultivation Details

Requires a moist or wet lime free soil, preferring one that is rich in peat or a light loamy soil with added leaf-mould[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Prefers a very acid soil with a pH in the range of 4.5 to 6, plants soon become chlorotic when lime is present. Succeeds in full sun or light shade though it fruits better in a sunny position[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Requires shelter from strong winds[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
The fruit often persists on the plant all winter without rotting[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Dislikes root disturbance, plants are best grown in pots until being planted out in their permanent positions[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].
Although the top growth is usually killed, plants generally survive fires and resprout freely from the roots afterwards[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
]. Traditionally, areas of Vaccinium oxycoccus growth were burned on an annual basis by native peoples - this encouraged the regrowth of the plant whilst also killing off various competitors, thus improving overall fruit yields[
277
Title
Plants Database
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://plants.usda.gov/java/factSheet
Publisher
United States Department of Agriculture
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An online database with an excellent collection of fact sheets about native N. American plants.
].
Plants are self-fertile, but fruit production is improved if cross-pollination also takes place[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].
Plants in this genus are notably resistant to honey fungus[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
].

Edible Uses

Fruit - raw or cooked[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
13
Title
Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Triska. Dr.
Publisher
Hamlyn
Year
1975
ISBN
0-600-33545-3
Description
Very interesting reading, giving some details of plant uses and quite a lot of folk-lore.
,
17
Title
Flora of the British Isles.
Publication
 
Author
Clapham, Tutin and Warburg.
Publisher
Cambridge University Press
Year
1962
ISBN
-
Description
A very comprehensive flora, the standard reference book but it has no pictures.
,
101
Title
Edible Wild Fruits and Nuts of Canada.
Publication
 
Author
Turner. N. J. and Szczawinski. A.
Publisher
National Museum of Natural Sciences
Year
1978
ISBN
-
Description
A very readable guide to some wild foods of Canada.
,
171
Title
Economic Botany.
Publication
 
Author
Hill. A. F.
Publisher
The Maple Press
Year
1952
ISBN
-
Description
Not very comprehensive, but it is quite readable and goes into some detail about the plants it does cover.
,
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
]. Considered by some to be the most pleasantly-flavoured of British wild fruits[
11
Title
Trees and Shrubs Hardy in Great Britain. Vol 1 - 4 and Supplement.
Publication
 
Author
Bean. W.
Publisher
Murray
Year
1981
ISBN
-
Description
A classic with a wealth of information on the plants, but poor on pictures.
]. The fruit is high in pectin[
172
Title
Discovering Wild Plants - Alaska, W. Canada and the Northwest.
Publication
 
Author
Schofield. J. J.
Publisher
Alaska Northwest Books; Alaska
Year
2003
ISBN
0882403699
Description
A nice guide to some useful plants in that area.
], this means that it can be mixed with fruits that are low in pectin to help them set when making jam[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
]. Pectin has also been shown to have a valuable role in the diet, where it is said to protect the body against radiation[
201
Title
A - Z of Companion Planting.
Publication
 
Author
Allardice.P.
Publisher
Cassell Publishers Ltd.
Year
1993
ISBN
0-304-34324-2
Description
A well produced and very readable book.
]. An acid taste, the fruits are usually cooked in preserves etc[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Although smaller than the related Vaccinium macrocarpon, the fruit of this species is considered to be of superior taste[
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
]. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Berries deep red, red-spotted at first, 6-12 mm diam., smooth[
270
Title
Flora of N. America
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/fna/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line version of the flora with an excellent description of the plant including a brief mention of plant uses.
].
A tea is made from the leaves[
13
Title
Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Triska. Dr.
Publisher
Hamlyn
Year
1975
ISBN
0-600-33545-3
Description
Very interesting reading, giving some details of plant uses and quite a lot of folk-lore.
,
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

Medicinal

An infusion of the plant has been used to treat cases of slight nausea[
257
Title
Native American Ethnobotany
Publication
 
Author
Moerman. D.
Publisher
Timber Press. Oregon.
Year
1998
ISBN
0-88192-453-9
Description
Very comprehensive but terse guide to the native uses of plants. Excellent bibliography, fully referenced to each plant, giving a pathway to further information. Not for the casual reader.
].

The fruit is antiseptic, antitumor, diuretic and febrifuge. It is taken, especially as a juice, for the prevention and treatment of urinary tract infections, neurogenic bladder, as a urinary deodorizer for people with incontinence, prevention of urinary catheter blockage, and to heal skin around urostomy stomas. It is also used for treating type 2 diabetes, chronic fatigue syndrome, scurvy and pleurisy[
1137
Title
Cranberry
Publication
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Author
Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, Founding Editor
Website
http://www.naturaldatabase.com
Publisher
Therapeutic Research Faculty.
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line database containing extensive information on medicinal plants and research relating to them.
].

Cranberry fruits contain anthocyanidins, ellagitannins, flavonols such as quercetin and kaempferol, catechins, and phenolic acids. Other constituents include ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, chlorogenic acid, glutathione, and alpha-tocopherol[
1137
Title
Cranberry
Publication
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Author
Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, Founding Editor
Website
http://www.naturaldatabase.com
Publisher
Therapeutic Research Faculty.
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line database containing extensive information on medicinal plants and research relating to them.
].
Cranberry juice is acidic, but does not acidify the urine as previously thought[
1137
Title
Cranberry
Publication
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Author
Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, Founding Editor
Website
http://www.naturaldatabase.com
Publisher
Therapeutic Research Faculty.
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line database containing extensive information on medicinal plants and research relating to them.
].
Cranberries contain proanthocyanidins, also known as condensed tannins, and a high-molecular weight compound that has not yet been identified. These constituents seem to interfere with bacterial adherence to the urinary tract epithelial cells. Cranberry, however, does not seem to have the ability to release bacteria which are already adhered to the urinary tract epithelial cells[
1137
Title
Cranberry
Publication
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Author
Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, Founding Editor
Website
http://www.naturaldatabase.com
Publisher
Therapeutic Research Faculty.
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line database containing extensive information on medicinal plants and research relating to them.
].
Laboratory evidence suggests that fructose in cranberries might also contribute to the anti-infective activity[
1137
Title
Cranberry
Publication
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Author
Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, Founding Editor
Website
http://www.naturaldatabase.com
Publisher
Therapeutic Research Faculty.
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line database containing extensive information on medicinal plants and research relating to them.
].
Cranberry juice has shown antibacterial activity in culture medium against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Proteus mirabilis[
1137
Title
Cranberry
Publication
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Author
Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, Founding Editor
Website
http://www.naturaldatabase.com
Publisher
Therapeutic Research Faculty.
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line database containing extensive information on medicinal plants and research relating to them.
].
Preliminary data suggest that a high molecular weight cranberry constituent might prevent adhesion of plaque bacteria that cause periodontal disease. Cranberry compounds might also prevent adhesion of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) in the stomach[
1137
Title
Cranberry
Publication
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Author
Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, Founding Editor
Website
http://www.naturaldatabase.com
Publisher
Therapeutic Research Faculty.
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line database containing extensive information on medicinal plants and research relating to them.
].
Early evidence shows that cranberry juice might increase the antioxidant capacity of plasma[
1137
Title
Cranberry
Publication
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Author
Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, Founding Editor
Website
http://www.naturaldatabase.com
Publisher
Therapeutic Research Faculty.
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line database containing extensive information on medicinal plants and research relating to them.
].
There is also preliminary evidence that the proanthocyanidin fraction of cranberry might have anticarcinogenic activity[
137
Title
The Plantsman. Vol. 9. 1986 - 1987.
Publication
 
Author
?
Publisher
Royal Horticultural Society
Year
1986
ISBN
-
Description
Excerpts from the periodical giving cultivation details and other notes on some of the useful plants including Carya spp and Crocus sativus.
].
Cranberry, as well as many other fruits and vegetables, contains significant amounts of salicylic acid, which is the active metabolite of aspirin and has anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet, and antitumor effects. Cranberry juice contains about 7 mg of salicylic acid per litre. Drinking three 250 mL servings of cranberry juice daily for two weeks increases serum salicylate levels. It also increases excretion of salicylic and salicyluric acids (a salicylic acid metabolite) in the urine[
1137
Title
Cranberry
Publication
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database
Author
Jeff M. Jellin, PharmD, Founding Editor
Website
http://www.naturaldatabase.com
Publisher
Therapeutic Research Faculty.
Year
2007
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line database containing extensive information on medicinal plants and research relating to them.
].

Agroforestry Uses:

Plants can be grown as a ground cover when planted about 1 metre apart each way[
208
Title
Plants for Ground Cover
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons
Year
1990
ISBN
0-460-12609-1
Description
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
]. Plants rapidly form a dense carpet when they are thriving[
208
Title
Plants for Ground Cover
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons
Year
1990
ISBN
0-460-12609-1
Description
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
].
The plant is classified as an indicator of moist to very wet, nitrogen-poor soils and high surface groundwater[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
]. It is also an indicator of coniferous swamps[
1050
Title
Fire Effects Information System
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.feis-crs.org/feis/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line information site with comprehensive information on over 1,100 species of plant. Mainly developed to supply information on the effects of fire on plants and animals, it also contains a wealth of other information on the plants
].

Other Uses

The juice of the fruit is used to clean silver[
6
Title
Plants with a Purpose.
Publication
 
Author
Mabey. R.
Publisher
Fontana
Year
1979
ISBN
0-00-635555-2
Description
Details on some of the useful wild plants of Britain. Poor on pictures but otherwise very good.
].

A red dye is obtained from the fruit[
13
Title
Hamlyn Encyclopaedia of Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Triska. Dr.
Publisher
Hamlyn
Year
1975
ISBN
0-600-33545-3
Description
Very interesting reading, giving some details of plant uses and quite a lot of folk-lore.
].

Propagation

Seed - sow late winter in a greenhouse in a lime-free potting mix and only just cover the seed[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. Stored seed might require a period of up to 3 months cold stratification[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
]. Another report says that it is best to sow the seed in a greenhouse as soon as it is ripe[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Once they are about 5cm tall, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in a lightly shaded position in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 - 8cm with a heel, August in a frame[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. Slow and difficult.
Layering in late summer or early autumn[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
]. Another report says that spring is the best time to layer[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Takes 18 months[
78
Title
Propagation of Trees, Shrubs and Conifers.
Publication
 
Author
Sheat. W. G.
Publisher
MacMillan and Co
Year
1948
ISBN
-
Description
A bit dated but a good book on propagation techniques with specific details for a wide range of plants.
].
Division of suckers in spring or early autumn[
113
Title
The Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation.
Publication
 
Author
Dirr. M. A. and Heuser. M. W.
Publisher
Athens Ga. Varsity Press
Year
1987
ISBN
0942375009
Description
A very detailed book on propagating trees. Not for the casual reader.
].
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-07-18. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Vaccinium+oxycoccos>

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