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TREES & Plants

European cranberry-bush

This viburnum is attractive and offers multi-season interest, but it has become an invasive plant in some states and is not recommended.  The American cranberry-bush (Vibrunum opulus var. americanum) is a good substitute.  It has the same ornamental features and is native to North America.

Botanical name: 
Viburnum opulus var. opulus (syn. Viburnum opulus)
All Common Names: 
European cranberry-bush, European cranberry-bush viburnum, Wuropean cranberrybush viburnum
Family (English): 
Elderberry
Family (Botanic): 
Adoxaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (foliage falls off)
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Growth Rate: 
  • Medium
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun (4-6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial shade (4-6 hrs indirect light daily)
Tolerances: 
  • Wet sites
  • Alkaline soil
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
  • Wet soil
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • White
Size Range: 
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
Shape or Form: 
  • Arching
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Spreading
  • Thicket-forming
  • Upright
Landscape Uses: 
  • Specimen
  • Massing
  • Foundation
  • Mixed border
Time of Year: 
  • Mid spring
  • Late spring
  • Early fall
  • Mid fall
More Information: 

Size

8 to 12 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide

Tree & Plant Care

Prune after flowering

May need to remove stems to control suckering

Disease, pests, and problems

Viburnum crown borer and viburnum leaf beetle are possible problems

Native geographic location and habitat

Europe and Asia

Found in wet, swampy sites

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple leaves in pairs (opposite)

Dark green, three lobed leaves (somewhat maple-like)

Fall color is red or red-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