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VIBURNUM opulus var. americanum

Image of Viburnum opulus var. americanum

Jessie Keith

Family

Caprifoliaceae

Botanical Name

VIBURNUM opulus var. americanum

Plant Common Name

American Cranberrybush

General Description

American cranberrybush (syn. V. trilobum) is a wonderful large deciduous shrub that develops a pleasing round, mounded habit when mature. A close cousin of the European cranberrybush, it occurs naturally in southern Canada and the northern United States. Its attractive medium green maple-like leaves turn brilliant hues of yellow, red and dark purple in fall. Many flat clusters of white flowers appear in late spring to early summer, followed by berry-like fruits that turn bright red in fall and persist into winter. The fruits make excellent jams and preserves. Numerous cultivars are available including the compact 'Alfredo' and the heavy-fruiting 'Wentworth'.

Although best fruiting occurs in full sun, American cranberrybush can also take part shade. Moist soil with average drainage is ideal. Use it in a shrub border, for screening or hedging, or as a foundation plant. Once established it shows moderate drought tolerance.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    7 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 7

  • Sunset Zone

    A1, A2, A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    6'-15' / 1.8m - 4.6m

  • Width

    6'-12' / 1.8m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer

  • Native To

    Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, North-Central United States, Northwestern United States, Canada

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Crimson

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Yellow, Red, Purple

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Edible, Feature Plant, Foundation, Fruit / Fruit Tree, Hedges, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break, Wildflower

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Attracts

    Birds, Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes