Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cranberry, the berry of the two species constituting the ericaceous genus Oxycoccus, probably so named from being eaten by cranes. They are slender creeping plants growing in bogs, with woody stems, small scattered evergreen leaves, drooping tetramerous flowers with rotate corollas, and crimson berries. The common cranberry, 0. palustris. has ovate-oblong, cordate leaves, with revolute edges, and pear-shaped fruits. It is a native of Siberia, Northern Europe, and America, and is now imported from Russia, though formerly it was abundant in the fens of Lincoln and elsewhere. The large-fruited cranberry, 0. macrocarpus, has flat, elliptic leaves and spherical berries, larger and brighter red than those of O. palustris. It occurs wild from Canada to Virginia, and is cultivated on poor land in New England, where an acre will yield from 80 to 100 bushels. Its fruit is largely imported into England for tarts. Cranberries are valuable antiscorbutics, and are used in Sweden to clean silver plate. The cranberry plant is the badge of the clan Grant.