Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Northeast Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Empetrum nigrum L.
- Family: Crowberry (Empetraceae)
- Flowering: July-November
- Field Marks: This species is distinguished by its low, shrubby growth form, its numerous
stiff, evergreen, reflexed, linear leaves, and its black fruits.
- Habitat: Bogs, fens.
- Habit: Low evergreen shrub from tough rootstocks.
- Stems: Spreading or prostrate, the lower branches creeping; branchlets slender, smooth or sometimes with glandular hairs and therefore sticky.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, evergreen, numerous, linear to narrowly elliptic, toothless, smooth or glandular hairy, up to 1/3 inch long, stiff, soon reflexed.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne separately but on the same plant in the axils of the leaves.
- Sepals: Usually 3, petal-like, free from each other.
- Petals: Usually 3, free from each other.
- Stamens: 3.
- Pistils: Ovary superior; stigmas 6-9.
- Fruits: Drupes black, often glaucous, spherical, up to 1/4 inch in diameter.
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