Tuesday, April 8, 2003

What Were They Thinking?
    — Don’t Know ’Nough About Biology

“What Were They Thinking?” highlights products and presentations which just don’t make sense.

The Cranberry Tree Restaurant sits just off Interstate 5 in Mt. Vernon, Washington, an hour or so north of Seattle.  Tree?  Don’t cranberries grow on small bushes or vines in some sort of a bog?  Not to mention the huge size of those berries!

The cranberry plant that we usually think of in terms of fruit juice and the like is vaccinium oxycoccus (and related species).  But there is also a cranberry tree, viburnum trilobum, from the Honeysuckle family.  Generally found in the Pacific Northwest, it is a large shrub or small tree which produces red, single-seed berries (and hence the name, obviously); the berries were used as a food source by the Shuswap tribe of eastern British Columbia (among others).

So the berry size may be an exaggeration, but sometimes it turns out that what they were thinking is right!

Updated on July 7, 2004

Updated on July 21, 2010
Corrected scientific name and added links.

No comments:

Post a Comment