Chinese Cranberry
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Chinese Cranberry
P Native Photo: M. Sawmliana
Common name: Chinese Cranberry
Botanical name: Vaccinium exaristatum    Family: Ericaceae (Blueberry family)
Synonyms: Vaccinium apricum, Vaccinium garrettii, Vaccinium winitii

Chinese Cranberry is an evergreen shrub or small tree, 3-5 m tall. Flowers are borne in racemes, 3-10 cm, usually velvet-hairy, many flowered. Flowers are pink, tubular, 6-8 mm, hairless; petals erect or reflexed, triangular or oblong. Filaments are about 1.8 mm, hairy. Flower-stalks are 1-3.5 mm, velvet-hairy or hairless. Sepal cup is 0.8-1 mm, velvet-hairy or hairless; sepals triangular or nearly round, 0.8-1.2 mm, sometimes densely fringed with hairs. Leaves are scattered; leaf-stalk 2-3 mm, densely velvet-hairy; leaf blade drying pale brown or straw-colored on both surfaces, elliptic, oblong-ovate, or oblong-lanceshaped, 3-7.5 x 1.1-3 cm, leathery, both surfaces velvet-hairy on midvein, otherwise hairless or above velvet-hairy, secondary veins 4 or 5 pairs, base wedge-shaped to rounded, margin plane, toothed, tip pointed or tapering. Berry is 10-chambered, red to dark purple, 4-5 mm in diameter. Chinese Cranberry is found in sparse forests, shrubby slopes, at altitudes of 500-2000 m, in NE India, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam. Flowering: March-April.

Identification credit: Subhasis Panda Photographed in Khawbung, Mizoram.

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