Early settlers thought the cranberry blossom resembled the head of a crane, and gave the name “crane berry,” later shortened to cranberry, to one of only a few fruits native to North America. Cranberry blossoms are pretty and delicate pink flowers that come out in late June and early July. Pollination by bees is an important part of the process. Small, green fruit develops behind the flower, growing and changing from green, to white, to dark red throughout the months of August and September. Harvest season is typically between late September and late October.
Our unique agricultural heritage makes cranberry blossom and harvest seasons special to our area. Once a glacial lakebed, the soil in the Wisconsin Rapids area is ideal for cranberries. We are the largest cranberry-producing region in Wisconsin producing nearly 30% of the world’s cranberries. Our area is also are home to several processing, juice, food, and health and beauty products employing the benefits of cranberries.