Photograph by Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930), United States, England
October 24, 1926
We invite you to join us on Monday, October 20, 2014 for Susan Playfair’s lecture and reading of America’s Founding Fruit: The Cranberry in a New Environment. The event is located in the Lecture Hall of the Hunnewell Building and runs from 7:00–8:30pm.
The cranberry, Vaccinium macrocarpa, is one of only three cultivated fruits native to North America. The story of this perennial vine began as the glaciers retreated about fifteen thousand years ago. Through the centuries the cranberry has provided critical sustenance for humans, on land, at sea, and in times of war. It was even offered in a diplomatic gesture to King Charles II in 1677. Today, it is a powerful tool in the fight against various forms of cancer. Susan Playfair interviewed scientists studying the health benefits of cranberries, growers in several states, geneticists mapping the cranberry genome, a plant biologist who provided her with the first regression analysis of cranberry flowering times, and a migrant beekeeper to weave together the history and culture of the cranberry and assess the possible effects of climate change on this North American resource. America’s Founding Fruit will be available for purchase and signing.
The photographer of this Vaccinium, Ernest Henry Wilson, was one of the foremost plant explorers of the twentieth century. We encourage you to check Ernest Henry Wilson’s New England Trees for a closer look at some of his photography. The Archive Collection of the Arnold Arboretum also holds the Ernest Henry Wilson papers, 1896-1952.
Copyright © 2014 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College.