European Cranberrybush Viburnum

The European cranberrybush viburnum for creating screens and hedges.

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Plant type: deciduous shrub
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8

Also sometimes called Guilder rose, this viburnum bears maplelike leaves and flat-topped clusters of white flowers in spring. The two- to three-inch-wide clusters are made up of two types of flowers: A ring of showy, white, 3/4-inch sterile flowers surround smaller white fertile flowers, which yield red berries in fall. The berries stay on the plants through winter to add extra color and interest to the landscape. Birds eat the fruit late in the season, and bird-sown seedlings will pop up elsewhere in the garden. The three-lobed leaves are dark green in summer and sometimes show good fall color; leaves may still be green when the drop off or they may turn red before dropping.

European cranberrybush viburnums usually are 8 to 12 feet tall, but can reach 15 feet. Plants spread from 10 to 15 feet and produce dense clumps of straight twigs that arch to create a rounded outline.

Cultivation: Give this species a spot in full sun to partial shade—flowering is best in full sun. These shrubs are easy to grow and thrive in a range of soils, from wet to moist and well-drained conditions. Prune immediately after flowering as necessary to shape the plant. Also remove up to one-third of the older stems from each clump annually to give new growth room to grow.

How to use it: Use this adaptable viburnum in shrub borders, hedges, or mass plantings. Dwarf cultivars are especially useful because their smaller stature makes it easier to fit them into the landscape.

Selected Cultivars:

  • 'Compactum' is a dense selection that reaches only 5 feet and spreads as far.

  • 'Roseum' bears round flower clusters in spring that are white but sometimes turn pink as they fade. Plants are 12 feet high and wide. Aphids are very common pests on this cultivar and their feeding can distort growth on the stem tips

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