American Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum opulus var. americanum) in the Viburnums Database

Common names:
Give a thumbs up American Cranberrybush Viburnum
Give a thumbs up American Cranberrybush
Give a thumbs up Highbush-Cranberry
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Botanical names:
Viburnum opulus var. americanum Accepted
Viburnum opulus subsp. trilobum Synonym
Viburnum trilobum Synonym

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Leaves: Good fall color
Fruit: Showy
Edible to birds
Other: Red
Fruiting Time: Summer
Late summer or early fall
Flowers: Showy
Flower Time: Spring
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Edible Parts: Fruit
Eating Methods: Raw
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Self fertile
Pollinators: Self
Various insects
Miscellaneous: Monoecious


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Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Dec 25, 2017 2:33 PM

This American Cranberrybush Viburnum is barely different than the European species. The American species has slightly larger leaves to 5 inches, with longer less toothed lobes, and small dome-shaped, usually stalked glands on the petiole (versus a few larger disc-like glands of a concave nature. The American species gets a better autumn color more towards orange and red, its flower clusters are a little larger to 4.5 inches wide, and its red fruits are a little less tart. Its native range is from Nova Scotia though southeast Canada over the Great Lakes to southern Manitoba; New England, most of New York, northern New jersey, northwest Pennsylvania, northern Ohio, Michigan, northern Illinois, Wisconsin, and northern Minnesota in bogs, swamps, along watercourses, and upland on slopes and banks, It grows about 1.5 feet/year. It has a shallow, fibrous root system and is easy to transplant. For some crazy reason, the European Cranberry Viburnum was planted way more than the American for a long time, but the latter is a better ornamental and being native it is more useful to good native wildlife and insects. There are some cultivars with larger fruit used for making jams and jellies.

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Posted by SongofJoy (Clarksville, TN - Zone 6b) on Oct 27, 2013 9:45 AM

Highbush cranberry is not a true cranberry. Its fruit strongly resembles cranberry in appearance and taste, but it is a member of the Viburnum genus and Honeysuckle family. The true lowbush cranberry is a Vaccinium. Both plants are native to North America.

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Discussion Threads about this plant
Thread Title Last Reply Replies
Possibly Viburnum trilobum; Not sure by KelcyMM Aug 14, 2017 3:24 PM 4
Cold Stream Farm by frankrichards16 Mar 3, 2015 7:14 PM 1

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