Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Viburnum opulus
cranberry-bush, high-bush cranberry

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to Oregon, east across Canada and the northern U.S. to the Atlantic Coast.

Habitat: Moist woods at low to moderate elevations.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Deciduous shrub or small tree 1-4 m. tall.


Petioles 1-3 cm. long with linear stipules 2-6 mm. long, glabrous except for one or more stalked glands near the summit; leaves opposite, usually with stiff hairs along the mid-vein beneath, palmately 3-veined and 3-lobed, 4-12 cm. long and wide, the lobes usually coarsely few-toothed and acuminate.


Inflorescence a compound umbel, short-pedunculate, 5-15 cm. wide, the marginal flowers enlarged and neutral, their corollas rotate, white, deeply 5-lobed, somewhat irregular, 1.5-2.5 cm. across; perfect flowers much smaller, 3-4 mm. across; stamens 5, exerted; ovary inferior, 3-celled, but only I cell fertile.


Fruit a drupe, 1-1.5 cm. long, with a large, flattened stone, red.

Accepted Name:
Viburnum opulus L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 268. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. americanum – American cranberry-bush, American high-bush cranberry    Occurring east of the Cascades crest in northeastern Washington; southern British Columbia to northeastern Washington, east to northeastern North America.
var. opulus – European cranberry-bush, European high-bush cranberry    Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; southern British Columbia to Oregon, east to westerm Montana; also in eastern North America.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Viburnum opulus in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Viburnum opulus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Viburnum opulus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Viburnum opulus photos.

USDA Plants: Viburnum opulus information.

26 photographs:
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