Page author: David Giblin
Vaccinium oxycoccos
small cranberry

Distribution: Occurring chiefly west of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska south to California, east to Idaho, across Canada; from the upper Midwest to the Atlantic coast.

Habitat: Usually in sphagnum bogs.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Evergreen creeping shrub with glabrous to finely pubescent stems.


Leaves alternate, ovate to lanceolate, acute, 5-15 mm. long, deep green, shining on the upper surface, grayish beneath, strongly revolute.


Flowers 1-several, terminal or lateral on the stem; pedicels very slender, 2-4 cm. long, usually glabrous, with 2 tiny bractlets usually below mid-length; petals 4, distinct, deep pinkish, 5-8 mm. long, recurved; anthers with pore-bearing terminal tubes but without awns; ovary inferior.


Fruit a berry, deep red, 5-10 mm. broad.

Accepted Name:
Vaccinium oxycoccos L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 351. 1753. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Oxycoccus hagerupii Á. Löve & D. Löve
Oxycoccus intermedius (A. Gray) Rydb.
Oxycoccus microcarpus Turczaninov ex Rupr.
Oxycoccus oxycoccos (L.) Adolphi
Oxycoccus oxycoccos (L.) MacMill.
Vaccinium microcarpum (Turczaninov ex Rupr.) Schmalhausen
Vaccinium oxycoccos L. ssp. microphyllum (Lange) Feilberg
Vaccinium oxycoccos L. var. intermedium A. Gray
Vaccinium oxycoccos L. var. microphyllum (Lange) J. Rouss. & Raymond
Vaccinium oxycoccos L. var. ovalifolium Michx.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Vaccinium oxycoccos in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Vaccinium oxycoccos checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Vaccinium oxycoccos information.

E-Flora BC: Vaccinium oxycoccos atlas page.

CalPhotos: Vaccinium oxycoccos photos.

USDA Plants: Vaccinium oxycoccos information.

42 photographs:
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