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European cranberry-bush viburnum (not recommended)

Leaves and fruit of European cranberry-bush viburnum.

European cranberry-bush viburnum is an attractive, multi-season interest shrub, but it has become an invasive plant in some states and is not recommended.  The similar, native  American cranberry-bush viburnum  (Vibrunum opulus var. americanum) is a more recommended 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, European cranberrybush viburnum

Family (English):


Family (Botanic):


Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Foundation,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 3,
  • Zone 4,
  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil,
  • Wet soil


  • Wet sites,
  • Alkaline soil

Season of Interest:

  • Mid spring,
  • Late spring,
  • Early fall,
  • Mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Arching,
  • Multi-stemmed,
  • Thicket-forming,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate

More Information:


8 to 12 feet tall and 10 to 15 feet wide.
This plant is not recommended because of its invasive tendencies.

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.



Location of Viburnum opulus var. opulus (syn. Viburnum opulus) (European cranberry-bush viburnum (not recommended)) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.