Viburnum trilobum

American Cranberrybush Viburnum, American Cranberrybush




  • native to northeastern and northwestern United States
  • hardy to zone 2

Habit and Form

  • a deciduous shrub
  • dense, rounded crown
  • 8' to 12' tall equal spread
  • medium texture
  • moderate growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • opposite leaf arrangement
  • simple, deciduous leaves
  • 3-lobed leaves
  • ovate leaf shape
  • 2" to 5" long
  • dentate leaf margin
  • dark green leaf color

Autumn Foliage

  • red to purple fall color


  • white flowers like V. opulus
  • blooms in early June
  • flat-topped cyme
  • showy


  • red drupe
  • 0.33" long
  • matures in September
  • edible
  • persists


  • gray brown in color
  • waxy


  • easily transplanted
  • prefers well-drained, moist soil
  • sun to partial shade

Landscape Use

  • shrub borders
  • small flowering tree
  • to attract birds and wildlife
  • hedges
  • background plant
  • barrier
  • useful for flowers and fruit


  • stemblight
  • water stress

ID Features

  • opposite, lobed leaves
  • red fruit
  • sticky, greenish-red buds, valvate (like V. opulus)


  • by cuttings
  • by seed


'Alfredo' - This is a new variation on the 'Compactum' theme said to grow more densely to form a 6' tall and wide shrub. The red fall color is also reportedly very good.

'Andrews' - This is the least common of the standard cultivars selected for production of superior fruit. It has a more compact, dense habit.

'Bailey Compact' - One of the various dwarf forms that are offered in the trade, this plant also grows to 6' tall with red fall foliage and a satisfactory fruit set.

'Compactum' - Perhaps the most common form of the species, this selection is a handsome compact plant that reaches 6' tall with upright spreading branches. The plant flowers and fruits well, but the fall color can be a poor yellow instead of the brilliant red of other varieties.

'Hahs' - A more dwarf selection, this plant grows to 8' tall and wide. It is most notable for its production of larger fruit that are useful for culinary purposes.

'Wentworth' - A cultivar selection made for its production of quality edible fruit, this plant exhibits good red fall color, as well. Other traits are as per the species.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.