small cranberry Ericaceae Vaccinium
oxycoccos L. symbol: VAOX
Leaf: Alternate, simple, oval, pointed tip, 1/4 to 3/8 inch long, entire margins strongly rolled under, shiny green above, paler nearly white below.
Flower: Pink to red, hanging downward, 4 petals strongly curving backwards, usually single but maybe in a small cluster, appearing in early to mid-summer.
Fruit: Round berry, 1/2 of an inch across, hang from a slender stem 1 to 1 1/2 inch long, bright red when ripe in early fall, persist through the winter.
Twig: Very slender and flexible, golden brown, nearly vine-like, densely covered with tiny leaves.
Bark: Thin, golden brown to gray-brown, may develop a few fine splits and cracks.
Form: A creeping, prostrate sprawling shrub up to 18 inches tall. They often form dense mats over swampy areas.
Looks like: cranberry - lingonberry - kinnikinick
Additional Range Information: Vaccinium oxycoccos is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting small cranberry.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson