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VACCINIUM macrocarpon 'Hamilton'

Image of Vaccinium macrocarpon 'Hamilton'

James H. Schutte

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

VACCINIUM macrocarpon 'Hamilton'

Plant Common Name

American Cranberry, Hamilton Cranberry

General Description

A dwarf form of a commercially important eastern North American native, this tiny, bun-shaped evergreen shrub is grown for ornamental rather than culinary purposes.

The low mounded stems of this miniature shrub are densely clad with petite rounded rich-green leaves which turn mahogany tones in winter. Clusters of small starry pink flowers appear in late spring and early summer, followed by a scattering of proportionately large, edible, red-skinned fruits with firm pinkish flesh.

Cranberries grow best in cool, moist, humus-rich, acidic soil in full sun, faring poorly in hot dry sites. Although commercial growers flood their fields to facilitate harvesting, cranberries do not require flooding. This dwarf cultivar is ideal for a peat bed, rock garden, trough, or patio.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 17

  • Plant Type

    Broadleaf Evergreen

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    3"-5" / 7.6cm - 12.7cm

  • Width

    4"-6" / 10.2cm - 15.2cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, North-Central United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site

  • Growth Rate

    Very Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Cushion/Mound-forming

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Red, Burgundy, Bronze

  • Bark Color

    Brown

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Edible, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds

  • Self-Sowing

    No