Lingoberry Facts

Lingoberry Facts
Lingonberry is an evergreen shrub that belongs to the heather family. There are two subspecies of lingonberry that can be found in the northern parts of North America and Eurasia. Lingonberry grows in the pine forests, marshes, heaths, on the mountain cliffs and in the rocky areas. It prefers moist, acidic soils and areas that provide partial shade. Lingonberry tolerates temperatures of -40 degrees of Celsius. Majority of cultivated lingonberries originate from the northwestern part of the USA, Netherlands and England. People cultivate lingonberries mostly as a source of food.
Interesting Lingoberry Facts:
Lingonberry grows in the form of low shrub which forms dense mats on the ground. It can reach 4 to 16 inches in height. Lingonberry produces numerous creeping shoots that are green and hairy while they are young.
Lingonberry has slender root system filled with fungi which facilitate extraction of the nutrients from the soil. Mutually beneficial relationship (symbiosis) that exists between lingonberry and fungi is known as mycorrhiza.
Lingonberry produces small, oval leaves with wavy margins. Leaves are leathery, glossy and bright green colored. Bottom side is covered with black dots. Leaves are alternately arranged on the stem.
Lingonberry develops white or pink, bell-shaped flowers arranged in drooping clusters.
Lingonberry blooms from April to June and from July to September. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs and they are able to perform self-pollination. Bumblebees occasionally visit and pollinate flowers of lingonberry.
Fruit of lingberry is red, roundish berry filled with numerous seed. Fruit ripens at the end of summer or at the beginning of the autumn and stays on the bush during the winter.
Lingonberries represent important source of food for the bears, foxes and wild birds.
Lingberry is also known as dry cranberry. Lingonberries are smaller, juicier and slightly sweeter than their cousins - cranberries. Unlike cranberries, lingonberries thrive in dry areas, hence the name.
Lingonberry is rich source of dietary fibers, vitamins A, C and vitamins of the B group and minerals such as calcium, potassium and magnesium.
Lingonberry has rich, tart taste. It is usually consumed in the form of jams, jellies, porridges, juices, pies and various pastry.
Lingonberries are used in the manufacture of Lillehammer berry liqueur. Lingonberry water (mixture of lingonberries and water) is popular drink in Russia. It can be also used as mild laxative and as folk remedy against scurvy (disorder induced by vitamin C deficiency).
Lingonberries contain substances that have anti-microbial (kill microorganisms) and anti-inflammatory (prevent inflammation) properties.
Recent medical studies showed that lingonberries can prevent weight gain.
Lingonberries are used in treatment of gastric disorders and rheumatism. They can be also used in treatment of elevated blood cholesterol level.
Lingonberry is perennial plant (lifespan: more than 2 years in the wild).

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