West Highland Flora

Common Crowberry


Empetrum nigrum

Taxonomic note: here separated from E hermaphroditum.  Some floras group them together as E nigrum agg.  In that case the present taxon is E nigrum ssp nigrum and the other is E nigrum ssp hermaphroditum.

Empetrum nigrum

Photo Patrick Butler

Common on moorland and coastal cliffs

Flower diameter c 1.2-2 mm, berries c 4-10 mm

ID: (E nigrum agg) 6 separate (not joined at base) pink petals/sepals.  Leaf-margins rolled under to almost meet below.  Also unmistakable in fruit if looks like these pictures.  (E nigrum sensu stricto) Leaves 3-4 times as long as broad, not 2-3 times.  Young twigs red, not green.  Flowers almost always male or female rather than hermaphrodite.  Puts out new roots around edges of tuft.

Other features: Forms large clumps which often hang down over rock faces.

 

Empetrum nigrum

Photo Carl Farmer
9 Oct 2004 Heribusta, Skye
Middle fruit of three, c 8 mm diameter

 

Empetrum nigrum

Photo Carl Farmer
16 Sep 2001 Broadford, Skye

Habitat picture.  Crowberry is the dark green plant cascading over the rocks in the lower half of the pic.


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