This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek, en, in, petros, rock; growing often on rocks). Empetracese. Crowberry. Ornamental low shrubs sometimes grown for the evergreen foliage and attractive fruits.
Leaves linear-oblong, obtuse, thick: flowers dioecious or monoecious, axillary, 1-3, nearly sessile; sepals and petals 3; stamens 3, exserted; ovary superior, 6-9-celled with as many stigmas on a short and thick style: fruit a 6-9-seeded drupe. - Five species through the northern hemisphere in mountainous and arctic regions, also in Chile, antarctic Amer, and Tristan da Cunha.
The crowberries are hardy, evergreen, densely branched, prostrate or creeping, heath-like shrubs, with small, crowded leaves, inconspicuous purplish flowers, and globose, red or black, edible berries. They grow best in moist, sandy or peaty soil, and are especially handsome for rockeries. Propagated usually by cuttings of nearly ripened wood in late summer under glass.
A. Branchlets and margin of expanding leaves glandular, the latter not tomentose.
Linn. Leaves linear to linear-oblong, divergent, soon reflexed, glabrous or nearly so, entire, 1/6-1/4in long: flowers purplish: fruit black, about 1/5in. diam. April, May; fruit in Aug., Sept. N. Eu., N. Asia., in N. Amer, south to N. H., N. Y., Mich, and N. Calif. B.B. (ed. 2) 2:479. S.E.F. 8:1251.
aa. Branchlets and margins of expanding leaves white-tomentose.
Fern. & Wiegand (E. nigrum variety andinum, Fern., not E. andinum, Philippi. E. nigrum variety purpureum, Auth., not DC). Trailing: leaves linear-oblong, soon loosely divergent, rarely becoming reflexed, those of the leading shoots 1/6-1/4in. long: fruit red to purplish black, opaque, 1/5-1/3in- across. Gulf stem Lawrence to Maine and N. H.
Eamesii, Fern. & Wiegand (E. nigrum variety purpureum, Auth., not DC. E. rubrum, La Pylaie, not Vahl). Leaves linear-oblong, crowded, ascending, becoming slightly divergent, those of the leading shoots 1/6in. or less long: fruit pink or light red, becoming translucent, 1/5in. or less across. S. Labrador, Newfoundland, E. Que. - Very handsome in fruit.
E. rubrum, Vahl (E. nigrum variety rubrum, DC). Closely related to E. Eamesii. Leaves less crowded, spreading, somewhat larger. Antarctic Amer., Tristan da Cunha. B.R. 1783.