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Viburnum opulus var. americanum is often confused with:
Viburnum opulus Flower Form Close-up
Plants that fill a similar niche:
Viburnum obovatum 'Raulston Hardy' Viburnum obovatum 'Raulston Hardy'
Berberis repens Mahonia repens
Viburnum davidii Viburnum davidii

Cranberry Viburnum Viburnum opulus var. americanum

Previously known as:

  • Viburnum opulus ssp. trilobum
  • Viburnum trilobum
Description

American Viburnum is a shrub found in wet woods, along streams, and on moist wooded hillsides of northern USA and Canada. It is not native to NC and will not like hot humid summers though it may grow in the cooler mountain areas. The shrub will reach 8-12 feet tall and wide with erect spreading and arching stems. The clusters of white flowers appear in spring and are followed by edible red drupes that resemble cranberries and mature in Aug-Sept.

This shrub has hybridized with the European variety V. opulus that has escaped cultivation and become weedy in some areas that may result in the gradual degradation or loss of the native genotype. It is best way to tell them apart by the petiolar glands at the base of the leaf. The native ones are variously described as convex (bulging outward), club-shaped, or columnar.  Also, the fruit of the native plant is edible and the European variety is not.

American Viburnum prefers wet to moist well-drained soils in full sun to partial shade. It is tolerant of various soil types and is easy to grow. Give it some compost or fertilizer in the spring for best blooming and fruiting. Use as an ornamental shrub for the flowers and fall interest of the fruits in hedges, foundation plantings or as a specimen. It will do well along the margins of ponds and streams. 

Problems: -Generally free from insect and disease damage in cultivation but bacterial leaf spot, powdery mildew, shoot blight, tarnished plant bugs, stem borers, and thrips will occasionally be a problem.

More information on Viburnum opulus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#specimen#shrub#showy fruits#hedges#stream banks#pond margins#small mammals#foundation planting#cool weather plant#edible fruits#nectar plant spring#bird friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#specimen#shrub#showy fruits#hedges#stream banks#pond margins#small mammals#foundation planting#cool weather plant#edible fruits#nectar plant spring#bird friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Viburnum
    Species:
    opulus
    Family:
    Viburnaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used medicinally as an antispasmodic, for relief of menstrual and stomach cramps and asthma.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Grafting
    Layering
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    North America
    Distribution:
    CT , IA , ID , IL , IN , KY , MA , ME , MI , MN , MO , MT , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SD , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NS , PE , QC , SK
    Wildlife Value:
    Fruits are eaten deer, moose, foxes, raccoons, chipmunks, squirrels, skunks, mice, rabbits, grouse, pheasants, robins, cedar waxwings, and other songbirds. They are not normally eaten by birds until after they have frozen and thawed several times.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Edibility:
    Fruits are edible and used in used in sauces, jellies, and juices.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 8 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    2a, 2b, 3b, 3a, 4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruit is a berry-like rounded drupe, bright red with a single seed and strongly flattened. Matures Aug.-Sept.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Cyme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Flowers are white, in flat-topped clusters 2.5-4 inches broad, with flowers of two different types. Outer ring flowers are sterile and showy. The inner flowers much smaller, fertile, with yellow anthers. Blooms May-July
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Opposite leaves are ovate, 2-4.5 inches long, 3 deep lobes with pointed tips and the middle lobe sometimes elongated. Margins coarsely toothed. 1 to 6 small glands, on short stalks, near the base of the blade on the grooved reddish-brown stalk. Dark green above, soft hairs on veins below. Fall color is yellow-red or reddish-purple.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Scaly
    Bark Description:
    Older bark is gray to gray-brown, thin, and smooth to scaly.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Green to reddish new twigs are mostly hairless with raised lenticels, turning tan to grayish brown.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Pond
    Riparian
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Design Feature:
    Foundation Planting
    Hedge
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Small Mammals
    Songbirds