Rosaceae (rose) family
The unisex flower of this northern plant bears only stamens or pistils, a relatively rare phenomenon in the rose family. It is a perennial that does not exceed 15 cm (6”) in height, and grows from rhizomes in colonies. It produces just 2 or 3 creased leaves, as wide as they are long, divided into rounded dentate lobes and topped by a single white male or female flower with 5 petals and 5 sepals.
The cloudberry, so called perhaps because of its pale-colored fruit, is also known in English (particularly in Newfoundland) as “bakeapple,” a corruption of the French “baie qu’appelle,” or else of the Inuit word “appik” combined with “apple” (formerly a generic name for any fruit.) In French it is known as “chicoutai,” meaning “ripens with heat,” referring to its red color when unripe. An alternate French name is “plaquebière,” a corruption of “plat de bièvre,” meaning beaver food. So many names for such a little berry, and one that is not exactly commonplace on our market stalls!
It grows principally in peat bogs, peaty forests, marshland and northern coniferous forests of Canada (particularly northern Quebec and Newfoundland), Scandinavia and Russia. Residents of these countries traditionally store the berries frozen in the snow.
Its fruit, the size of a raspberry, changes from red to orange or a pale salmon color when ripe.
Anti-carcinogenic, fights urinary infections
Rich in vitamins C, B12, D and A. High content of minerals such as iron and potassium.
The fresh berries are available in the region where they are picked; otherwise they are sold frozen.
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