Viburnum opulus (European Cranberrybush, European Highbush Cranberry) is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. Despite its common names, it is not closely related to true cranberries (Vaccinium spp.). It is native to Europe, northern Africa, and northern Asia. European Highbush Cranberry is valued for its attractive flowers, showy fruit, and ornamental foliage.
Appearance: European Highbush Cranberry is a medium-sized shrub that typically grows to a height of 8 to 12 feet (2.4 to 3.6 meters) with a similar spread. It has a rounded form with multiple upright stems. The branches are usually smooth and grayish-brown.
Leaves: The leaves of Viburnum opulus are opposite, palmate (hand-shaped), and deeply lobed. Each leaf has three to five lobes that are toothed along the edges. The leaves are dark green and turn shades of reddish-purple in the fall, adding to the plant's ornamental value.
Flowers: European Highbush Cranberry produces large, flat-topped clusters of small white flowers in late spring to early summer. The individual flowers have five petals and are arranged in a showy manner. The flowers are attractive to pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.
Fruits: Following the flowers, Viburnum opulus develops clusters of bright red berries. The berries are oval-shaped and about 0.4 inches (1 cm) in diameter. They mature in late summer to early fall and persist on the shrub well into winter. The berries are not typically consumed by humans but are attractive to birds and wildlife.
Growth and Adaptability: European Highbush Cranberry is a hardy shrub that can tolerate a range of growing conditions. It prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It can adapt to different soil types, including clay and loam. This shrub is relatively low-maintenance and can tolerate cold temperatures.
It's important to note that the berries of European Highbush Cranberry are not typically consumed by humans as they have a bitter taste. However, they can be used in preserves and jellies when properly prepared.
Botanical Name : Viburnum opulus
Common Name : European Cranberrybush, European Highbush Cranberry
Height : 8-15 ft
Spread : 13 ft
Germination Info : Seed requires 6-9 Months warm stratification followed by 60-90 days cold
Hardiness zone : 3-8
Average seed per ounce : Approx. 750