The Cranberry (American Cranberry) is a small evergreen shrub of the Ericaceae family. The red fruits are edible. It should be noted that this is not the Vaccinium vitis-idaea (Lingonberry) with which it is often confused.
The plant is in the form of semilignous shrubby bushes, with a perennial stem and horizontal growth crawling stems, up to 2 meters long. The leaves are small and oval, bright green on the upper page, paler on the lower page. The vertical jets (5-8 cm) that develop from the buds on the stolons, can be vegetative or give origin to the fruit.
The flowers are white-pink, bell-shaped, facing the ground. They are formed by 4 petals curved backwards and can be single or small bunches. They bloom in the second half of the summer.
The fruits are round berries, of 1.5-2 cm of diameter, the peel is shiny and hard, of bright red color that with the maturation turns to dark red. The pulp is dense, rich in seeds, with a sour and astringent taste due to the high content of tannins, which give the blueberry antioxidant properties.
Important farming, a food that is, if taken regularly and without excess, behaves like a drug, like all berries, in addition to minerals, vitamins, anthocyanins (see Siberian blueberry) the Cranberry is, together with grapes Ursin, the fruit that contains the largest amount of proanthocyanidins.
The latter, in short, are natural organic substances that have the important antibacterial action: they completely envelop the bacteria that cause cystitis, preventing them from proliferating, thus avoiding the annoying inflammation of the urinary tract.
Many pharmaceutical products against cystitis have a high cranberry content.
From the same family as our European blueberry (Lingonberry), which grows wild in the woods, the cranberry is a bush no taller than 20/30 cm that grows well in sandy, wet and marsh soils, tends to widen up to almost a meter of diameter and, unlike other berries, only in markedly acidic soils (ph 4.0 / 5.5)
The ‘Early Black’ variety ripens in the middle of summer, around July-August.
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