Five Fun Facts About Cranberries: An American Native

Cranberry Trivia

November 10, 2017
Winter Berries

Here are five fun facts about cranberries, an American native and a favorite seasonal ingredient in traditional holiday recipes.

  1. By November, nearly all of the cranberry crop has been harvested. Millions and millions of the little hard, tart ruby berries grown in the bogs of Cape Cod (Massachusetts), New Jersey, Wisconsin, Washington, Oregon, and the Maritime Provinces of Canada have been bagged fresh or earmarked for juice or canned sauce.
  2. The cranberry is a genuine Native American, Vaccinium macrocarpon, a member of the heath family and a relative of the blueberry and huckleberry.
  3. The Pequot Indians of Cape Cod called the berry ibimi, meaning bitter berry, and combined crushed cranberries with dried venison and fat to make pemmican.
  4. The Pilgrims and those who followed appreciated the wild berries but did not start to cultivate them until 1816, when a bog was planted and tended in Dennis on Cape Cod. By then, American and Canadian sailors on long voyages knew they could eat cranberries to protect themselves from scurvy—making them a cranberry counterpart to British “limeys.”
  5. Cranberry is a native superfood and good for you! They’re packed with anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antioxidant compounds. See more about cranberry’s natural health benefits.

OK, this isn’t a fun fact but cranberries taste great! They add a unique burst of tart flavor to any dish—as well as glorious color. Here’s a delicious Cranberry Dream Pie that you can make ahead and stick in the freezer.


See all of our tasty cranberry recipes—from cranberry sauce to chutney to cake to punch!


Reader Comments

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Ground cover

I have seen cranberries sold as a ground cover on some gardening supply websites, no bog required: The American Cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpon, is native to the United States. I really want to try to grow them. Garden catalogs are so tempting, need more money and space to grow!

Please add information about

Please add information about cranberry bushes/trees! Thanks.

In my community garden,

In my community garden, gardeners from Africa plant Huckleberry and eat the greens only. Most article mention the berries but not the greens. There are precautions listed about this plant. Can you tell me more about the plant and where I may obtain seeds that I can eat the greens without worrying about gastrointestial problems

The Lingonberry!I would love

The Lingonberry!I would love to see an article on vaccinium vitis-idaea. It will grow well in my clime, apparently! My swedish heritage bades me to grow this relative of the cranberry! Has anyone else tried this plant?