Vascular Plants - Ericaceae - Empetrum:
Empetrum nigrum
Page Author: David Giblin
black crowberry 
Blooms: May-July
Habit: shrub
Duration: perennial
Origin: Native
Conservation Status: Abundant; of no concern.

Distribution: In the Cascades and Olympic Mountains of Washington; Alaska south to California.
Habitat: Exposed rocky bluffs, but also in peat bogs.
Species Description:

General: Low, spreading shrub, up to 1.5 dm. tall, the somewhat woolly branches up to 3 dm. long.
Leaves: Leaves nearly round in cross section, partly in whorls of 4 and partly alternate, glandular-puberulent, 4-8 mm. long, the margins revolute, the lower surface grooved.
Flowers: Flowers axillary, perfect to imperfect (monoecious or dioecious), 3 mm. long, subtended by 3 chaffy bracts, smaller but similar to the 6 sepals; inner 3 sepals brownish-purple, petal-like; petals none; perfect and staminate flowers with 3 stamens; pistil 1, the stigma peltate, with 6-9 short lobes.
Fruits: Fruit drupe-like, globular, purplish-black, 4-5 mm. long.
Accepted Name:
Empetrum nigrum L.
Empetrum nigrum L. ssp. hermaphroditum (Lange ex Hagerup) B-cher
Empetrum nigrum L. ssp. nigrum

Treated in Flora of the PNW as:
Empetrum nigrum
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria Specimens: View list of Empetrum nigrum specimens in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WTU Herbarium Specimens: View list of Empetrum nigrum specimens in the WTU Herbarium database.

Washington Flora Checklist: Empetrum nigrum treatment.

E-Flora BC: Empetrum nigrum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Empetrum nigrum images.

USDA Plants Database: Empetrum nigrum.
Additional photographs of Empetrum nigrum:
(click on a thumbnail to view larger photo)

Ben Legler, 2004

Ben Legler, 2004

H. Tim Gladwin, 1998

Bud Kovalchik

Stu Knoke, 2007

Clayton J. Antieau, 1999

Clayton J. Antieau, 1999

Clayton J. Antieau, 1999

Clayton J. Antieau, 1999

Susan McDougall, 2014

Susan McDougall, 2014
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Washington Native Plant Society
WA Native Plant Society