Pearl Berry (Margyricarpus pinnatus)

M. setosus. Empetrum pinnatum.
Common Name Latin Name Plant Family
Pearl Berry
Margyricarpus pinnatus

None known

  • Medicinal Use

    Diuretic[46, 61].

  • Edible Use

    Fruit – raw or cooked[2, 105]. Pleasant but mild with a slightly acid flavour[11, 183]. The fruit can hang on the plant for a long time in good condition if it is not eaten by birds etc[1]. The fruit is a small white berry about 7mm in diameter with a single seed[200]. Very attractive to look at, but the flavour is very mild and you need to spend quite a while picking just to get one mouthful[K]. Children really love the fuit, however, and this makes it an ideal plant to get them out of your hair for a while. Simply tell them that they can have as much of the fruit as they want and they will be there for half an hour or more picking it[K].

  • Cautionary Notes

    None known

Cultivation & Habitat

Seed – sow late winter or early spring in a greenhouse[78]. The seed can be rather slow to germinate and probably needs a short period of cold stratification[K]. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. When the plants are large enough, plant them out in late spring or early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter outdoors[K]. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 4 – 5 cm with a heel, July/August in a frame[78]. Layering[200].
Prefers a lime-free soil that is not too rich[11], with some shade at the hottest part of the day[200]. Requires a sunny position and a well-drained soil[11]. Requires a sheltered position[188]. Plants are low-growing and have done very well in our exposed maritime site in Cornwall[K]. This species is hardy to about -5¡c[200]. It is our opinion that the plants are hardier than this[K], they have grown outdoors in many parts of Britain that experience colder winters, and have survived all but very severe winters[1, 11]. The plants do not fruit well in cool wet summers[K].
S. America – Andes.

Become ungovernable, break the chains of the matrix; grow and forage your own food and medicine.

*None of the information on this website qualifies as professional medical advice. Take only what resonates with your heart and use your own personal responsibility for what’s best for you. For more information [brackets] [000], see bibliography.