The crowberry is a 20 centimetre tall, low creeping bush with hairy stems. It has leaves that look like little douglas fir needles, and black-purple berries in fall.
RANGE & HABITAT
Crowberry is found across B.C. from sea level to alpine, but especially in rocky and exposed bogs, open areas and tundra.
Crowberry spreads sometimes by seed, but most commonly by underground roots. The purple flowers open in the spring, and ripen into black-purple berries.
Bears love the berries, and other animals, including birds, mice and squirrels, will eat them too.
TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES
Many coastal and Arctic First Nations groups ate the berries fresh, but the Haida believed that too many of them were bad for you.
Crowberries are grown commercially for nurseries and gardeners.
COSEWIC: Not at Risk
Photo: Sergey Yeliseev