Tuesday, November 15, 2016


A small genus of cold climate low growing shrubs that are closely related to Vaccinium Cranberries.

Empetrum nigrum ( Black Crowberry )
A low, groundcover, evergreen shrub, reaching up to 0.8 ( rarely 3.3 for var. japonicum ) feet in height, that is native to the arctic tundra & boreal forest region of northern North America and Greenland. It is also native to northern Europe, eastern Russia, Mongolia, Manchuria, Korea and Japan. It is among the most hardy of all shrubs, thriving even in most of Alaska. There was once a separate heat tolerant native population found in bogs on Long Island, New York but it is now extinct. In Alberta; it is widespread in the northern and central region. In Ontario; it is widespread in the northern 1/3 as well as along the entire north shore of Lake Superior.
The linear leaves, up to 0.3 inches in length, are glossy bright green, turning to bronze-red during fall and winter.
The tiny flowers are followed by a rounded, deep purple to black berry, up to 0.25 inches wide. The edible fruits are used for jellies and pies.
Hardy zones 1 to 4 in full sun to partial shade on moist, sandy, acidic, well drained soil. It thrives with seashore conditions and even on gravel.

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Apr 17 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

Attractive golden-yellow to lime-green foliage.


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