New York Natural Heritage Program
Broom Crowberry
Corema conradii (Torr.) Torr. ex Loud.

General Description [-]
Corema is a low, dense, evergreen shrub usually less than half a meter tall that spreads out in the shallow soil between open rock formations. It is highly branched with tiny, narrow evergreen leaves, green above and white below, covering the branches. The separate male and female flower heads form in a rosette of leaves at the tips of the branches. There are no petals but the other flower parts give a purplish cast to the plant in early spring.

Best Life Stage for Proper Identification [-]
This evergreen shrub can be identified anytime. For verification, please take a photo of the plant including a close-up of leaves and stems.

Similar Species [-]
Corema is in the same family as Empetrum and may be confused with it. We have two Empetrum species within New York and both are considered rare. All Empetrum species will have axillary flowers (usually solitary or only a very few) with 6-9 stigmas and 3 petaloid sepals, while the flowers of Corema are in small terminal heads with 2-5 (usually 3) stigmas and no calyx.
Broom Crowberry Images
click to enlarge
The Best Time to See
The plants are vegetative and evergreen nearly year round. The flowers are present late April to early May. Surveys may be conducted anytime, year round.
Vegetative Flowering Fruiting
The time of year you would expect to find Broom Crowberry vegetative (blue shading), flowering (green shading) and fruiting (orange shading) in New York.