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Empetrum rubrum - Vahl. ex Willd.

Common Name
Family Empetraceae
USDA hardiness Coming soon
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Dwarf shrub heath, feldmark communities, bogs and swamps, in open Nothofagus forest and occasionally frequent in the understorey[69].
Range S. America - Chile and Tierra Del Fuego.
Edibility Rating    (2 of 5)
Other Uses    (3 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (1 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Empetrum rubrum


http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Butterfly_voyages
Empetrum rubrum

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of shrub
Empetrum rubrum is an evergreen Shrub growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in) at a slow rate.
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower in May. The species is dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required). and is pollinated by Bees, flies, Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is not self-fertile.
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: mildly acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. The plant can tolerate maritime exposure.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Habitats

Woodland Garden Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade; Ground Cover; Cultivated Beds;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts: Fruit
Edible Uses:

Fruit - raw or cooked[1, 46, 61, 69]. It is supposed to have tonic properties[183].

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Tonic

Tonic[46].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

Plants can be used for groundcover in exposed locations[200].

Special Uses

Ground cover

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A calcifuge plant, it is easily grown in a moist lime-free peaty soil[11, 182, 200]. Tolerates exposed positions, including maritime exposure in Cornwall[182]. This species is closely related to E. nigrum. Dioecious. Male and female plants must be grown if seed is required[182].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

Temperature Converter

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Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a cold frame. The seed can be very slow to germinate, stored seed requires 5 months warm then 3 months cold stratification at 5°c[200]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 3cm with a heel, July/August in a frame. Takes 3 weeks. Good percentage[78, 200]. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 3cm with a heel, October in a frame. Requires shade. Good percentage[78, 200].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Empetrum atropurpureumPurple CrowberryShrub0.2 -  LMSNM203
Empetrum eamesiiRockberry, Purple crowberryShrub0.2 3-8  LMSNM203
Empetrum eamesii hermaphroditumMountain Crowberry, RockberryShrub0.3 3-8  LMHNM203
Empetrum nigrumCrowberry, Black crowberry, Black CrowberryShrub0.3 3-8  LMHSNM321

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

Vahl. ex Willd.

Botanical References

1169200

Links / References

For a list of references used on this page please go here

Readers comment

   Thu Feb 22 2007

Empetrum rubrum (diddle dee)is awesome for starting fires when out camping

F Stephens   Wed Mar 28 2007

They make jam out of this berry in the Falklands, and sell it to tourists. They also sell diddle-dee yoghurt. It tasts slightly bitter, and the jam is slightly gritty due to the number of seeds, but it is fairly palatable still.

peter kohn   Mon Jan 26 2009

A fascinating plant but does anyone know of a grower. We desparately need plants to complete our collection of Tierra del Fuego shrubs. Let me know if you find a supplier or can supply plants yourself. Emails to peter@kerrachar.co.uk Thank you.

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