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Water en land

Mens en Milieu

Crowberry

size:

plant: 15 to 45 centimeters
flowers: 1 to 2 millimeters

color:

male flowers: pink
female flowers: purplish red

blossoms:

April and May

pollination:

insects

reproduction:

seed

life span:

perennial

  • Dut: Kraaiheide
  • Lat: Empetrum nigrum
  • Eng: Crowberry
  • Ger: Krähenbeere
  • Fren: Camarine noire
  • Dan: Revling
Crowberries, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

Crowberry

It's not hard to guess where this plant got its name from. Crows, together with curlews, doves, pheasants and gulls, like to eat the berries of this plant. The shiny black berries are edible for people however don't have much flavor. Even grazing animals don't eat crowberry. The plants are either male or female. Once they get berries, it's easy to see which ones are female. However, you can also distinguish the sex if you are fortunate to spot the tiny flowers in early spring. Male plants have pink flowers while female plants have darker purple to red flowers.

  • Distribution and habitat
    Crowberry flowers, foto fitis, sytske dijksen

    Crowberry grows together with common heather throughout the old dune regions of the northern Dutch dunes. As long as it's not too dry or acidic, it grows on nutrient-poor peat and sandy soils. Crowberry likes sunny to lightly shaded areas that are poor in calcium and nutrients. This species survives longer in sand drifts than common heather.