New York Natural Heritage Program
Black Crowberry
Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum (Lange ex Hagerup) Böcher
Empetrum nigrum ssp. hermaphroditum Stephen M. Young
Family: Crowberry Family (Empetraceae)

State Protection: Rare
listed species have: 1) 20 to 35 extant sites, or 2) 3,000 to 5,000 individuals statewide.

Federal Protection: Not Listed

State Rarity Rank: S3
A State Rarity Rank of S3 means: This plant is rare in New York (typically 21-50 populations, limited number of individuals, or limited range).

Global Rarity Rank: G5T5
A Global Rarity Rank of G5T5 means: Secure globally - Both the species as a whole and the subspecies/variety are common in the world; widespread and abundant (but may be rare in some parts of its range).

Did you know?
The genus name Empetrum comes from the Greek en, which means upon, and petros, which means rock (Fernald 1970). This name alludes to the way this species grows on rocks. The common name black crowberry refers to the black color of the fruits and makes reference to the fact that, at least in the arctic where this plant also grows, birds relish the fruits (Waller and DiGregorio 1997). This plant's Inuit name, paurngait, means "which looks like soot", and refers to the black berries (S. G. Aiken et al 1989).

State Ranking Justification [-]
There are 19 known populations. Nine of these populations are ranked excellent or good. Some of these are quite large with one containing an estimated 250,000 individuals. The overall range of the extant populations is relatively small. All the populations are restricted to the high peaks region of the Adirondacks. There are an additional two populations, also from the high peaks region, that have not been seen in over 85 years but additional survey work is needed before these populations can be determined extirpated. There is also one disjunct population known from the South Fork of Long Island which has not been seen since 1924. This population is believed to be extirpated.

Short-term Trends [-]

Long-term Trends [-]