Planting and Growing the American Cranberry Bush

by on July 31st, 2010
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Also known as the cranberry viburnum, highbush-cranberry, and American cranberrybush viburnum, this flowering shrub is a member of the honeysuckle family of plants. Botanically, it is known by Viburnum opulus var. americanum or Viburnum trilobum. It is native to the United States.

American Cranberry Bush Description

Growing six to 12 feet high, this perennial shrub may reach up to 16 feet in optimum environments. It grows in a dense upright form. Leaves are green and turn colors in the fall that resemble a maple. Flowers are white and in clusters. Fruits are red berries. Bloom season is between May to July.

Growing Guide

It prefers to grow in partial shade with a moist or wet nearly neutral in pH soil. It is disease, flood, and insect tolerant. Propagate by seed. Seed will need stratification if not sowing fresh. Collect seeds as soon as the fruits have turned dark blue-black.


This native is found in the states of Connecticut, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, West Virginia, and Wyoming. It is seen in rocky shores, thickets, cool woods, and slopes.

Food Source

The berries grow above the snow and taste sweeter after they freeze, so this makes a great winter-survival food source.

Wildlife Attracted

It will attract game birds, song birds, and small mammals for the berries. It is also a butterfly plant and is the larval host for the Spring Azure butterfly.

Source: NPIN

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