The New International Encyclopædia/Cranberry

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search

CRANBERRY (from crane + berry). A name given to the fruit of a few creeping, vine-like species of the genus Vaccinium, family Ericaceæ. The smaller cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccus) grows wild in the peaty bogs and marsh lands of the temperate and colder regions of both Europe and America. The larger cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is native in similar situations in the United States, and is extensively cultivated for commercial purposes in Massachusetts, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and a few other Northern States. The cranberry is a firm, red, acid berry, of good keeping quality, and is used for sauce, tarts, and the like. In the improved commercial culture of cranberries, natural swamps or bogs are selected which can be drained by open ditches and flooded when desired. The native moss and swamp growth are removed, and the peat covered two to four inches deep with sand. The vines are planted about 14 inches apart, cuttings 6 to 8 inches in length being used. The sand keeps down the weeds, makes cultivation easy, and helps retain the moisture in the soil below. Additional sandings are given every four or five years, which keep the vines short and close. In some localities sanding is omitted altogether. The object of flooding is to protect the vines in winter and from early fall and late spring frosts, to destroy insects, prevent drought, and protect against fire. The berries are gathered preferably by hand, but often with special rakes and combs. There are three principal types of cultivated varieties, determined by the form of the berries—bell-shaped, bugle-shaped, and cherry-shaped—with many varieties of each. In 1900, 987,516 bushels of cranberries were marketed in the United States.

The cowberry or mountain cranberry (Vaccinium vitis-idœa) is common in both Europe and America, and, like Vaccinium oxycoccus, is gathered and sold in considerable quantities, but is not cultivated. The shrub Vibernum opulus is known as the high-bush cranberry. The fruit is tart, but is of little value, and is seldom eaten. The Tasmanian cranberry is the fruit of Astroloma humifusum, of the natural order Epaeridaceæ.


NIE 1905 Cranberry etc.jpg
1. COSMOS (Cosmos tenuifolius). 4. CORN COCKLE (Lychnis githago).
2. CRANBERRY (Vaccinium macrocarpon).  5. COWSLIP (Primula veris).
3. COREOPSIS (Coreopsis lanceolata). 6. SUNN HEMP (Crotalaria juncea).