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  • LingonberryPosted 4 years ago under Uncategorized

    Lingonberries are the Northern European cousin of the cranberry. Similar in look and nutritional profile, the lingonberry is a less sour alternative to the cranberry that provides many of the same nutritional benefits. They are known to help with the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and periodontal disease by fighting inflammation and infection.
    (1)

    Taxonomy

    Lingonberry grows on the Vaccinium vitis-idaea shrub.

    Kingdom (Plantae) –> Angiosperms –> Eudicots –> Asterids –> Order (Ericales) –> Family (Ericaceae) –> Genus (Vaccinium) –> Species (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)

    Description

    Lingonberries grow on low evergreen perennial shrubs. The leaves are a glossy, dark green and only a quarter to half inch in length. The flowers are small and very light pink. They grow in clusters on the shrubs. The berries look like a slightly smaller version of cranberries but their flavor is tart and not quite as sour. (2)

    Distribution

    Lingonberries are native to northern Europe but are now grown in North America in areas north of Massachusetts. They thrive in cold climates with well-drained, acidic soil. Lingonberries do not do well in warm environments and typically will not survive hot summers. (3)

    Nutritional Information

    Lingonberries are high in important vitamins, minerals, and fiber, including vitamin C. Related to cranberries, they have a similar nutritional profile. They are high in polyphenols and phytochemicals such as proanthocyanidin, quercetin, and arbutin. These compounds have anti-inflammatory properties and help fight UTI’s. They also have been shown in studies to fight cancerous cells in the body. (4)

    Commercial Cultivation

    Lingonberries are grown in northern Europe and the northern part of North America. In the United States, lingonberries began to be commercially grown in Wisconsin and have spread to other cold parts of the United States and Canada. Lingonberry shrubs can self-pollinate but produce better crops if cross-pollinated. Commercially, they are cultivated from cuttings taken from mature shrubs. (5)

    Diseases, Pests, Predators

    Lingonberry shrubs are resistant to most pests but some do feed on the plants. A few varieties of beetles eat the leaves while the lingonberry fruitworm can burrow into the fruit. The lingonberry is susceptible to diseases, especially fungal infections such as black rot and blights. (6)

    Sources

    (1) http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/lingonberries-cowberries-medicinal-juice.php
    (2) http://www.garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&id=162
    (3) http://www.garden.org/articles/articles.php?q=show&id=162
    (4) http://www.healwithfood.org/health-benefits/lingonberries-cowberries-medicinal-juice.php
    (6) http://www.fruit.cornell.edu/berry/production/pdfs/Lingonberries.pdf
    (7) http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/20774/pnw583-e.pdf

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