Vaccinium vitis-idaea L.
Lingonberry, Northern Mountain-cranberry, Cowberry
Ericaceae (Heath Family)
USDA Symbol: VAVI
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.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Pink
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: 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 ConditionsLight 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.
BenefitUse Food: The acid fruits are somewhat bitter but can be used as a substitute for regular cranberries when cooked. (Niering)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
PropagationDescription: 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
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the ArchiveWildflower Newsletter 1990 VOL. 7, NO.2 - Preservation Blooms in Recreated Prairies, New Wildflower Center Prairie Welcome...
Additional resourcesUSDA: 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
MetadataRecord Modified: 2011-01-06
Research By: TWC Staff