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Wild Cranberry

Wild Cranbery

Vaccinium macrocarpon


This plant has tiny leaves arranged alternately. Its stem creeps along the ground. Its fruits are red berries. (They look just like the domestic ones.)

Habitat and Distribution

It only grows in open, sunny, wet areas in the colder regions of the Northern Hemisphere.

Edible Parts

The berries are very tart when eaten raw. Cook in a small amount of water and add sugar, if available, to make a jelly.

Other Uses

Cranberries may act as a diuretic. They are useful for treating urinary tract infections.

Steve's notes:

Wild cranberry is not a particularly great survival food, because you usually will have to cook the berries to make them palatable.

Research has shown that cranberries contain arbutin, which prevents bacteria from sticking to the sides of the bladder and urinary tract, thus curing many infections.


The Ultralight Backpacking Site | Wild Cranberry