Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Empetrum nigrum
BLACK CROWBERRY

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: HEATH FAMILY
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: EmpetrumView Description 

Habit: Subshrub to low shrub, evergreen; generally dioecious. Stem: spreading to decumbent, densely branching. Leaf: alternate or whorled, linear to +- oblong, stiff, strongly rolled under, apparent groove abaxially. Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, flowers 1 or in few-flowered clusters, +- sessile. Flower: unisexual [bisexual], reduced, perianth parts 3--6, +- free, dark purple-red, subtended by scaly bracts. Fruit: drupe, generally juicy. Seed: stones 2--9.
Species In Genus: 2--4 species: circumboreal, southern Chile, Tierra del Fuego. Etymology: (Greek: on rocks, from habitat) Note: Wind-pollinated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Kathleen A. Kron

Empetrum nigrum L.
NATIVE
Stem: generally decumbent, branches 15--40 cm. Leaf: crowded, 3--6 mm, glabrous except along groove. Staminate Flower: stamens (2)3(4). Pistillate Flower: ovary superior, chambers 2--9, style deeply 2--9-lobed. Fruit: 4--6 mm wide, black or purple-black, occasionally red.
Ecology: Coastal cliffs on rocks; Elevation: < 200 m. Bioregional Distribution: n NCo (Del Norte, Humboldt cos.); Distribution Outside California: to Alaska; circumboreal. Flowering Time: Apr--May Note: If recognized taxonomically, plants with bisexual flowers assignable to Empetrum nigrum var. hermaphroditum (Hagerup) T.J. Sørensen.
Unabridged Note: California populations scattered, small. If recognized taxonomically, plants with bisexual flowers assignable to Empetrum nigrum var. hermaphroditum (Hagerup) T.J. Sørensen. Most California plants seem dioecious.
eFlora Treatment Author: Kathleen A. Kron
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Citation for this treatment: Kathleen A. Kron 2016. Empetrum nigrum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=24229, accessed on April 30, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on April 30, 2016.


Empetrum nigrum
click for enlargement
© 2007 California Academy of Sciences
Empetrum nigrum
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© 2015 Dana York
Empetrum nigrum
click for enlargement
© 2015 Dana York
Empetrum nigrum
click for enlargement
© 2015 Dana York
Empetrum nigrum
click for enlargement
© 2002 California Academy of Sciences
Empetrum nigrum
click for enlargement
© 2002 California Academy of Sciences

More photos of Empetrum nigrum in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Empetrum nigrum:
n NCo (Del Norte, Humboldt cos.);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.