[NAFEX] High Bush Cranberry i.d.

bluestem_farm at juno.com bluestem_farm at juno.com
Mon Feb 4 22:39:38 EST 2008

Like so many plants, it depends upon the era and the taxonimist whether they are one species or two.  Voss (Flora of Michigan?)  said that they were maybe two, but not consistently distinguishable.  The books that I most often use say that they are two; V opulus having concave glands on the pedicels while V trilobum has convex glands on the leaf pedicels, the European species with nasty flavored fruit, the American sour but otherwise tastier fruit.  One of my neighbors at the farmers' market sold me one with convex glands (all the ones in our woods look like the European) and I'm looking forward to seeing how it grows (and tastes).

-- tanis cuff  wrote:

I thought the 2 were different, having slightly different leaves and one having lenticels or other distinction on the petioles, and the trilobum tending to have better fruit.  I don't recall the name of the reference for this.  Does this sound familiar to anyone?

> From: jfruth
> To: nafex
> Date: Sun, 3 Feb 2008 10:23:38 -0600
> Subject: [NAFEX] Strange flowering on High Bush Cranberry
> Marsh called it Viburnum trilobum, Linnaeus called it Viburnum Opulus
> and the pictures of it do not do it justice. The High Bush Cranberry has a
> strange flowering habit that I've not seen on another plant. It produces a
> cluster of tiny perfect flowers surrounded by bracts that closely resemble
> real flowers. The bracts are each about 1/2" in diameter and are brilliant
> enough to attract passing pollinators to the insignificant flowers in the
> center of the cluster.
> If you get a chance to see one in bloom, it is worth the experience just
> for the unusualness of it.
> Oh, and if you should ever have the opportunity to get enough of the
> fruit to make jelly, be sure to stand up-wind when cooking it and be
> prepared for down-wind neighbors to complain of the stench. It makes a
> wonderfully tasting jelly, one of my favorites, but, when you first open the
> jar, it smells of dirty socks. It is not one of our best sellers but we do
> sell alot of it, mostly to folks whose mothers or grandmothers made the
> jelly.

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