Crowberry

Empertrum nigrum

Crowberry

APPEARANCE

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.

LIFE CYCLE

Crowberry spreads sometimes by seed, but most commonly by underground roots. The purple flowers open in the spring, and ripen into black-purple berries.

ANIMAL USES

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.

MODERN USES

Crowberries are grown commercially for nurseries and gardeners.

STATUS

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

MORE INFORMATION

www.luontoportti.com

Photo: Sergey Yeliseev