Friday, August 2, 2013

Highbush Cranberry - Watershed #13

Here are a few photos of the Highbush Cranberry which is a native in the Gardens at Waters East and the surrounding watershed.  It has muti-seasonal beauty and grows 7 to 12 feet tall.

In June and early Summer the flowers appear looking almost like a hydrangea.  Notice the large white flowers.  They are sterile and only meant to attract insects and other pollinators to the plant.  The fertile flowers are the closely grouped bud like formations found in the center of the circle of white sterile blooms.

In late Summer and throughout the Winter, the brilliant red fruit is seen.  It can be used for jelly (However there is a caution.  It smells like dirty socks so add a little lemon if you make jelly.  That will take away the smell!)

In Fall, the leaves turn deep to brilliant reds.  Very beautiful and attractive.

During the Winter months many birds and other animals use these fruits as an emergency food supply when there may be little else.  They primarily eat the flat seeds inside discarding the fruit.  (Actually they are not seeds but rather drupe which are like the cherry with a stone and not a seed).  Some of the birds that favor this in Winter months are the Waxwings, Robins, even Ruffed Grouse which are found throughout this area.

There are a number of postings in the archives under the title of “Watershed”.  If you want to see and learn more about this geological wonder which cradles the Gardens at Waters East, check out any of those past postings.  The posting of July 2, 2011 gives some facts and photos.  It is a good foundation to understanding this whole area.

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  1. Highbush Cranberry is one of my favorites.
    We have some of these bushes in our garden, Highbush cranberry grows even in our area but they are very rare.
    I have always thought that the red fruit is poison in some way.

    Have a nice day/ Hans

  2. I bought one hoping for fruit from HD but got home to find it was opulus 'nanum' which neither blooms nor fruits. I should have taken it right back but didn't find out if I could return a plant. I guess I'll have to try again if I want one. Can the seeds be overlooked or must they be strained out?

  3. Hi John! I'm sorry that I still haven't answered your question on my blog the other day, vacation sort of got in the way. I would love to see more pictures of the flowers you got from my seeds. Perhaps we could both write a blogpost about it from our different perspectives? I just think it's so cool what blogging can bring, and that they are now blooming so far away from home. I hope you're having a great summer! Kram Hanna