Herb: Purple Crowberry

Latin name: Empetrum atropurpureum

Family: Empetraceae (Crowberry Family)

Edible parts of Purple Crowberry:

Fruit - raw or cooked. The flavour is watery with a slightly medicinal flavour that is improved by freezing. The fruit is usually mixed with sugar and acid fruits such as cranberries and then cooked. They are a good currant substitute in puddings.

Description of the plant:


20 cm
(7 3/4 inch)

Habitat of the herb:

Granitic or acidic gravel and sands on mountains.

Other uses of Purple Crowberry:

Succeeds as a ground cover plant in exposed positions.

Propagation of the herb:

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 5C. 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. Cuttings of mature wood of the current year's growth, 3cm with a heel, October in a frame. Requires shade. Good percentage.

Cultivation of Purple Crowberry:

Granitic or acidic gravel and sands on mountains.

Medicinal use of the herb:

None known

Known hazards of Empetrum atropurpureum:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.