Oxycoccus macrocarpus Pers. Vacciniaceae. Cranberry.
Temperate regions. The American cranberry grows in bogs from Virginia to Wisconsin and extends to the Pacific coast. It is mentioned by Roger Williams under the name sasemineash and was eaten by the Indians of New England. The fruit is boiled and eaten at the present day by the Indians of the Columbia River under the name soola-bich. The fruit is an article of commerce among the tribes of the Northwest. About 1820, a few vines were cared for at Dennis, Massachusetts, but not until about 1840 can the trials at cultivation be said to have commenced, and not until 1845 was the fact established that the cranberry could be utilized as a marketable commodity. Cranberries are now very extensively grown at Cape Cod and in New Jersey and Wisconsin. Under favorable conditions, the vines are exceedingly productive. In New Jersey, in 1879, a Mr. Bishop raised over 400 bushels on one acre and parts of acres have yielded at the rate of 700 to 1000 bushels per acre, but such prolificacy is exceptional. There are several recognized varieties.
Oxycoccus palustris Pers. Cranberry. Mossberry.
Northern climates. This is the cranberry of Britain which is in occasional cultivation. The fruit is considered of superior flavor to the American cranberry but is smaller. The latter is a plant of peat bogs in the northern United States and on uplands in the British territory. One authority says that on the Nipigan coast of Lake Superior "the surface is flaming red with berries, more delicious than anything of the kind I have ever tasted."
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World, 1919, was edited by U. P. Hedrick.