Viburnum Trilobum Wentworth
This cranberry bush, synonymous with and formerly known asViburnum trilobum, is native to swampy woods, bogs, lake margins, pastures, thickets, slopes and moist low places from New Brunswick to British Columbia south to New York, the Great Lakes, South Dakota and Oregon. It is often called American cranberry bush in order to distinguish it from the similar European cranberry bush,Viburnum opulus. For many years, American cranberry bush has also been commonly called highbush cranberry. It is a deciduous shrub with a dense, rounded, spreading habit that typically grows to 8-12’ tall. It features lacecap white flowers in spring in flat-topped 3” wide cymes of tiny fertile florets surrounded by larger sterile florets, drooping clusters of cranberry-like red berries (drupes) in fall and three lobed, maple-like, dark green leaves. The berries (drupes) are edible fresh off the shrub, and are much less bitter than those berries found onV. opulus. Berries are sometimes used to make jams and jellies. Fruits tend to shrivel after frost. Foliage turns a sometimes attractive purplish red in fall. The true cranberry that is grown commercially for food (Vaccinium macrocarpon) is a non-related member of the heath family.