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Dieren en planten

Water en land

Mens en Milieu

Cranberry

size:

50 to 100 centimeters

color:

flowers: pink, purple-red or white

blossoms:

June through August

pollination:

bumblebees, via wind

reproduction:

seed

life span:

perennial

  • Ned: Lepeltjesheide (Amerikaanse veenbes, cranberry)
  • Lat: Oxycoccus macrocarpos
  • Eng: (American) Cranberry
  • Fren: Canneberge a gros fruits
  • Dui: Krannbeere, Große Moosbeere
cranberry, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

Cranberry

There is something mysterious about cranberries. People have their secret places where they pick this sour berry and they don't readily tell others. The cranberry is especially known from Terschelling; however it also grows in the dunes on other Wadden Islands, and occasionally along the shores of the mainland. When it was discovered in the 19th century, botanists thought that it was a resurrection of an indigenous heath species. But in reality it is native to eastern North America. Cranberries grow is nutrient-poor damp (dune) slacks and peat grounds. Although Terschelling is famous for its cranberry pie, jam and syrup, most berries are presently harvested on Vlieland.

On Texel


Cranberries sold at slowfoodmarket, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

Since June 2011, experiments for cultivating cranberries are taking place on the island. Two fields have been planted with 12,000 plants to see whether these wholesome berries will grow on a commercial scale. One field is just inland of the dunes near Den Hoorn, near the Bonte Belevenis. The other field is located in Waalenburg. Although the first harvest wasn't expected before 2014, the Bonte Belevenis was proud to present their first modest harvest a year earlier. In the meantime, a third field has been planted along the edge of the Dennen.

  • A big disappointment

    The story says that a barrel with English writing washed ashore on Terschelling. A beachcomber rolled the barrel into the dunes and opened it up, hoping to find bottles of whisky. But it was only filled with berries. Disappointed, he threw the berries away, which eventually germinated. Coastal birds and enthusiastic people took care of further distribution.

  • Harvesting cranberries
    Cranberry flowers, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    During the turn into the 20th century, island residents discovered the possibility of exploiting the berry. Cranberry juice in particular is used for making wine, liqueur, syrup, jam, sauce, compote and vinegar. The juice itself is the most important product. Professional harvesting takes place on Vlieland and Terschelling. Cranberry contains lots of vitamin C and citric acid. The bitter, sour fruit helps to heal kidney and bladder problems.