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Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Lingonberry)
Hampton, Nan

Vaccinium vitis-idaea

Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.

Lingonberry, Northern mountain-cranberry, Cowberry

Ericaceae (Heath Family)

Synonym(s):

USDA Symbol: VAVI

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N), SPM (N)

A low, creeping, diffusely branched shrub with leathery, oval, evergreen leaves. Pink, bell-shaped flowers occur in small, terminal clusters and are followed by red, edible berries. A low, evergreen shrub with creeping stems and upright branches bearing small, terminal clusters of pink, nodding, bell-shaped flowers.

The acidic fruits, sometimes called lingonberries, are somewhat bitter but can be used as a substitute for regular cranberries when cooked. They often overwinter on the plant and become sweeter by the time the snow melts.

 

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Flower:
Fruit: Red
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul

Distribution

USA: AK , CT , MA , ME , MI , MN , NH , VT , WI
Canada: AB , BC , NB , NS , PE , QC
Native Distribution: Greenland to AK, s. at high elevations to New England, n. MN & in the west to B.C.
Native Habitat: Bogs; rocky areas

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil Description: Acid, peaty or rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Commonly grown as a ground cover in the Pacific Northwest.

Benefit

Use Food: The acid fruits are somewhat bitter but can be used as a substitute for regular cranberries when cooked. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Propagation

Description: Vaccinium species are propagated by seeds, cuttings and rooted suckers of offshoots.
Seed Treatment: Dormancy varies. Cold-moist stratification may be necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

Mr. Smarty Plants says

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National Wetland Indicator Status

Region:AGCPAKAWCBEMPGPHIMWNCNEWMVE
Status: FAC FAC FAC FAC
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the Archive

Wildflower Newsletter1990 VOL. 7, NO.2 - Preservation Blooms in Recreated Prairies, New Wildflower Center Prairie Welcome...

Additional resources

USDA: Find Vaccinium vitis-idaea in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Vaccinium vitis-idaea in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Vaccinium vitis-idaea

Metadata

Record Last Modified: 2011-01-06
Research By: TWC Staff

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