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Viburnum opulus var. americanum (American cranberry bush)
Hixson, John

Viburnum opulus var. americanum

Viburnum opulus L. var. americanum Aiton

American Cranberry Bush, Highbush Cranberry, American Cranberrybush Viburnum, Cranberry Viburnum

Caprifoliaceae (Honeysuckle Family)

Synonym(s): Viburnum opulus ssp. trilobum, Viburnum trilobum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N), SPM (N)

Highbush-cranberry is a 6-12 ft. shrub which can reach 16 ft. Dense upright or arching branches create a round outline. Maple-like, deciduous foliage is colorful in fall. White, flat-topped clusters of flowers are followed by persistent red berries.


From the Image Gallery

3 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Fruit Type: Drupe
Size Notes: Up to about 16 feet tall, often shorter.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Red, Orange.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul


USA: 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
Native Distribution: Nf. to B.C., s. to NJ, n. IN, n. IL, Black Hills, WY & WA
Native Habitat: Cool woods; thickets; rocky shores; slopes

Growing Conditions

Water Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist , Wet
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: None
Soil Description: Wet to average, well-drained loams.
Conditions Comments: Flood, disease and insect tolerant. Transplants easily. Edible berries.


Use Wildlife: Songbirds, gamebirds, small mammals.
Use Food: The berries make an excellent winter-survival food because they remain above the snow and are sweeter after freezing. (Kershaw)
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Attracts: Birds , Butterflies
Larval Host: Spring Azure

Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)

Spring Azure
(Celastrina "ladon" )

Larval Host
Learn more at BAMONA


Propagation Material: Hardwood Cuttings , Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Commercially Avail: yes

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE


Bibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Viburnum opulus var. americanum in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Viburnum opulus var. americanum in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Viburnum opulus var. americanum


Record Modified: 2022-10-21
Research By: TWC Staff

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