European Cranberry Viburnum, European Snowball Bush, Guelder Rose

Viburnum opulus

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viburnum (vy-BUR-num) (Info)
Species: opulus (OP-yoo-lus) (Info)
View this plant in a garden



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade


Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer



Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

5.6 to 6.0 (acidic)

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

From seed; stratify if sowing indoors

By grafting

By simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Valparaiso, Indiana

Iowa Falls, Iowa

Nantucket, Massachusetts

Yukon, Oklahoma

Gloucester, Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:


On May 27, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Gorgeous plant, beneficial to wildlife. However, if you are in the U.S. and are looking to plant one, plant the native species instead which is Viburnum trilobum, American Cranberrybush Viburnum (and a/k/a Viburnum opulus var. americanum).

The best way to separate Viburnum opulus from Viburnum trilobum is by examination and comparison of the glands on the leaf petioles. The European species has flattened squat concave glands, and the North American species has thinner small stalked columnar (matchstick-like) glands.


On Jun 10, 2008, Zaylon from Yukon, OK wrote:

I purchased this plant from a local garden center last year. It was tagged as the snowball shaped version ( which was what I was wanting at the time) and I bought it when it was not in bloom. When it bloomed this spring, SURPRISE, it was the lacecap version. At first I was bummed out, but then I decided I love it. I even think the flowers have a slight fragrance.
Now it is summertime, and it has berries on it, which I think adds even more intrest. It also has a lovely, bushy shape.


On Feb 10, 2007, claypa from West Pottsgrove, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

Cosidered an invasive plant in Southeastern Pennsylvania by the Pa. Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources because it's replacing the native Viburnum,
Viburnum trilobum


On Aug 19, 2002, itsajungle wrote:

The European Highbush Cranberry is one of our favourite all year performers. Some years are more prone to aphis invasion. Very attractive to birds. Berries remain in our zone well into early spring from midsummer.Leaves have glowing fall colour. Branches in winter are visible as gracefully twisted forms for the most part. Does need occasional thinning. Good screening. delicate flowers in springtime.Cedar waxwings and robins feast on the berries.
An all round positive experience with this bush, now reaching 15 our garden. We have 4 "bushes".


On Jan 27, 2002, Copperbaron from Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

This shrub is native to Europe, northern Africa, and northern Asia. It is a dense, compact, deciduous shrub that grows to 8'-10' tall with a 10'-15' spread and is upright then spreading, typically branched to the ground. The flowers are in flat clusters 2"-3.5" across and provide a showy display in late May or early June. Fall color can be yello-red or reddish purple, but is not consistently good. Pendulous fruit clusters are effective from late summer through mid-autumn.

European cranberry can be grown in full sun to partial shade and grow best in fertile, moist soils, but is adaptable to other soils and pH. A very tough and easy to grow shrub suitable for the shrub border, as a screen, mass plantings, flowering and fruiting, and difficult growing sites. Aphids can be... read more