Wednesday, October 24, 2007

What's for breakfast: cranberry pancakes with Lingonberry Syrup

MMMmmm. I got the Lingonberry syrup at The Village Market. In parentheses, it calls it partridge berry. I've eaten our partridge berry, and they taste like damp styrofoam, so my interest was piqued. I bought it, and yummy yummy yummy good.

Wikipedia says: The Vaccinium vitis-idaea – often called lingonberry or cowberry, also called foxberry, mountain cranberry, lowbush cranberry, and partridgeberry (in Newfoundland and Labrador) – is a small evergreen shrub in the flowering plant family Ericaceae that bears edible fruit. It is seldom cultivated, but the fruits are commonly collected in the wild. The native habitat is the circumboreal forests of northern Eurasia and North America, extending from temperate into subarctic climates.

I then looked up my partridgeberry and Wikipedia said: Mitchella repens , or Partridge Berry, is the best known plant in the genus Mitchella. It is a herbaceous woody shrub, occurring in North America and Japan, and belonging to the madder family (Rubiaceae).
This evergreen plant is a creeping, but not climbing, vine, 15-30 cm long. The evergeen dark-green leaves are opposite, ovate to cordate, with a pale yellow midrib. The petioles are short. Roots may grow at the internodes, forming loose mats. It is part of the undergrowh vegetation in many forests. It has dimorphous, twin white tubular flowers (grown from one calyx) with four petals, covered with fine hairs. They grow axillary at the end of a branchlet. Each flower has one pistil and four stamens. While in one twin flower this pistil is short,in the other it is long. With a short pistil come long stamens, or vice versa. This dimorphy prevents self-fertilization by one flower.

These are the ones that taste like damp styrofoam but are wonderful in the woods and in terrariums. The cool thing about these is that every two flowers forms one berry.

I learned that there are many plants called partridge berry, which is why we have scientific nomenclature, so that there will be less confusion.

Other posts today:

Wolcott Mill
Red maple
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alice said...

mmmmm... I love photos of food! :-D

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks, Alice! I'm not a food photographer, but I do like eating and taking pictures, LOL!

BerryBird said...

Wow, if I never knew the bit about the two flowers becoming one fruit, I forgot it. That and the complementary stamens/pistil lengths are fascinating. Is that characteristic of the entire Rubiaceae, or just Mitchella? Fascinating.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

Thanks Berrybird. I did remember that from some dim moment in the past! But as far as whether it is common among the Rubiacaea, I don't know. More research required.

Somehow, thinking of bedstraw and madder, I doubt it, but I don't know.