Craneberry’s Cranberries- the ultimate marketing ploy!
What is a flora blog without a November mention of one of Ohio’s native berries?
The University of Maine cranberry site suggests fruits were called Craneberries for the single cranberry blossom, resembling the neck and head of a crane. In colonial times, 'cranberry' used to be written as 'craneberry'. And nobody knows cranberries like Maine, the home state of Ocean Spray!
A second possibility allows that craneberry bogs would be likely habitat for Sandhill Cranes foraging for food. However, a crane’s idea of a tasty morsel would be more along the frog and salamander line, not an acidic red berry tart enough to put a pucker on a bird’s bill! But it would be easy to come to a mistaken conclusion if you saw the gigantic bird’s head foraging in a berry patch, so this too is a credible story for the origin of the plants name.
Large Cranberry or Vaccinium macrocarpon, the name botanists call them, can still be found in some of Ohio’s most unusual native habitats. Cranberry Bog, Triangle Lake Bog and Brown’s Bog are places these potentially threatened plants can still be seen in Ohio. Mmm, Craneberry sauce!