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Black crowberry

Black crowberry

Scientific Name: Empetrum nigrum

Other Names: Crowberry, Crakeberry, Curlew-berry

Empetrum nigrum, crowberry or black crowberry, is a species of Empetrum which is native to most northern areas of the northern hemisphere. It is usually dioecious, but there is a bisexual tetraploid subspecies, Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum that occurs in more northerly locations and at higher altitude. In gardening, it can be grown in acidic soils in shady, moist areas. It can be used for the edible berries, for a purple dye, or as a ground cover. The metabolism and photosynthetic parameters of Empretrum can be altered in winter-warming experiments. Black crowberry fruits edible. These berries can hang on the plant all winter. The Native Americans gather these persistent berries buried beneath the snow and use them. As the raw berries are small, mealy and often considered tasteless when eaten alone so these are often mixed with other berries or cooked into jelly or pies. In Lapland, crowberries are used as an extender for blueberry products and as a coloring agent. Crowberry is very high in vitamin C and other antioxidants and has significant medicinal properties.