Viburnum Species, American Cranberrybush, Crampbark Tree, Gueldres-Rose, Dog Rowan Tree

Viburnum opulus var. americanum

Family: Adoxaceae (a-dox-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Viburnum (vy-BUR-num) (Info)
Species: opulus var. americanum
Synonym:Viburnum opulus subsp. trilobum
Synonym:Viburnum trilobum




Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


15-20 ft. (4.7-6 m)


12-15 ft. (3.6-4.7 m)


USDA Zone 2a: to -45.5 C (-50 F)

USDA Zone 2b: to -42.7 C (-45 F)

USDA Zone 3a: to -39.9 C (-40 F)

USDA Zone 3b: to -37.2 C (-35 F)

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)

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



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)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-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 simple layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds


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

Effingham, Illinois

Wheaton, Illinois

Jeffersonville, Indiana

Logansport, Indiana

Barbourville, Kentucky

Prospect, Kentucky

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Lincoln, Nebraska

Morris Plains, New Jersey

Fargo, North Dakota

Chillicothe, Ohio

Lima, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Leesburg, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Jun 2, 2007, yarily_holp from Philadelphia, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This shrub has maple-like leaves and nice fall color. It can get large, about 10 feet tall, and given time can spread and form a kind of thicket that is a good screen in summer. It flowers a fair amount even in shade, but needs sun to produce much fruit.


On Oct 22, 2006, Lady_fern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

The flowers and berries on this native shrub are lovely and make it worthy of any yard. It does get large, so site accordingly. Ours make a dense hedge along one side of the back yard. The branches will root where they touch the ground, so it is easily propagated. Pinching new growth in the spring helps it to branch and grow with a better form. Although this is a shrub for sun, we have some growing under a pine tree and others under a pecan tree. They are smaller than the ones in the sun, but are just as healthy and beautiful.


On May 2, 2004, nekko2 wrote:

We have a hedge of this bush down one side of our property--bushes are now 15 years old, and some have died completely. We want to re-interplant with new ones. The wood and berries have a rotten odor when they are crushed or pruned--very unexpected to me. the fall color is beautiful, and we had a flock of cedar waxwings come thru every February and feed off the
leftover berries. The bushes seem to get weedy as they grow, not filling out as we would like. Any pruning hints would be appreciated.


On Jan 29, 2002, Copperbaron from Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

The American cranberrybush is native to the northeastern and northwestern US and is found in low rich woods and borders of fields from New Jersey, Michigan, and Oregon northward. It grows from 8'-10' high with generally erect branches. The showy, snow white flower clusters are 3"-4" across and bloom in early June. The red fruits ripen late in the season and persist into winter. The fruits are edible, but sour and persist into winter. Fall foliage is red to purple. It prefers well drained, moist soil in sun to partial shade.

The american cranberrybush is useful in shrub borders, as a small flowering tree, bird attract and, in hedges, as a barrier, and is useful for flowers and fruit.