|Monday Melange: American Cranberrybush|
|Written by Heleigh Bostwick Sunday, 15 April 2007|
American cranberrybush ( Viburnum trilobum), synonymous with V. opulus L. var. americanum is a large woody shrub native to the northern half of the United States and the state of New Mexico. Its range extends from Maine across to Washington State and as far south as Kentucky. Hardy between USDA zones 2 to 7, the American cranberrybush, also called highbush-cranberry and cranberrybush viburnum, is a member of the honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae) family.
The leaves are opposite and have three lobes, hence the epithet ‘trilobum’. The large flat umbel-like creamy white flowers that bear a resemblance to the flowers of Queen Anne’s lace, are referred to as cymes. The showy outer flowers are actually sterile, while the inner smaller flowers are fertile. American cranberrybush blooms in late spring and early summer.
American cranberrybush is low maintenance and grows well in full or partial sun, and moist soils. It tolerates wet and alkaline soils fairly well, as well as wind, which makes American cranberrybush an excellent plant for windbreaks and hedges. It grows to a height of about 15 feet, and when planted alone has a somewhat rounded habit with arching stems. With its dense foliage, showy white flowers, persistent red fruits, and reddish-purple fall color, it has ornamental value throughout the year. Birds and wildlife adore the fruits, which are edible and can be used to make jam.
American cranberrybush is listed as threatened in Ohio and endangered in Indiana.
Photo source: www.smallplants.com