This native viburnum offers ornamental interest throughout the seasons; flowers in spring, red fruit in late summer and red fall color. This American species is a better choice than the similar European cranberry-bush which has become an invasive plant in some areas.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
- Chicago area
- North America
- Mixed border
- Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 2
- Zone 3
- Zone 4
- Zone 5
- Zone 6
- Zone 7
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Wet soil
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Mid spring
- Late spring
- Early fall
- Mid fall
8 to 12 feet high and wide
Tree & Plant Care
Prune after flowering
Disease, pests, and problems
Viburnum crown borer and viburnum leaf beetle are possible problems
Native geographic location and habitat
Commonly found in wet or swampy sites
Bark color and texture
Smooth, gray-brown; splitting into irregular cracks with age
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Simples leaves in pairs (opposite)
Dark green, three lobed leaf (somewhat maple-like)
Fall color is red to purple
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Lace cap type flower clusters (small, fertile flowers surrounded by showy, sterile flowers); white
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Red, berry-like fruits (drupes) resembling cranberries; edible
Compactum (Viburnum opulus var. americanum 'Compactum'): Compact cultivar growing 5 to 6 feet high and wide; flowers and fruits well, but has poor fall color (yellow instead of red).
Hahs (Viburnum opulus var. americanum 'Hahs'): Selected for better fruit production, this cultivar has larger fruits. Plant grows 6 to 8 feet high and wide.
Redwing® (Viburnum opulus var. americanum 'J.N. Select'): Newly emerging leaves are reddish and fall color is also red. Good flower and fruit production.