Cranberry Viburnum


Latin Name: 
Viburnum opulus var. americanum
Bloom Color: 
Sun to Shade
4 and up
Product Season: 
Spring Bloomer


Easily grown in average, moist, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers loams with consistent moisture, but tolerates a wide range of soils. Prune as needed immediately after flowering.

Viburnum opulus var. americanum, synonymous with and formerly known as Viburnum trilobum, is native to swampy woods, bogs, lake margins, pastures, thickets, slopes and moist low places from New Brunswick to British Columbia south to New York, the Great Lakes, South Dakota and Oregon. It is often called American cranberry bush in order to distinguish it from the similar European cranberry bush, Viburnum opulus. For many years, American cranberry bush has also been commonly called highbush cranberry. It is a deciduous shrub with a dense, rounded, spreading habit that typically grows to 8-12’ tall. It features lacecap white flowers in spring in flat-topped 3” wide cymes of tiny fertile florets surrounded by larger sterile florets, drooping clusters of cranberry-like red berries (drupes) in fall and three lobed, maple-like, dark green leaves.  Berries are sometimes used to make jams and jellies. Fruits tend to shrivel after frost. Foliage turns a sometimes attractive purplish red in fall.

The true cranberry that is grown commercially for food (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a non-related member of the heath family.

Shrub borders or foundations. Woodland margins. Hedge or screen.