Viburnum opulus var. opulus
Common name: 
European Cranberrybush Viburnum
vi-BER-num OP-u-lus OP-u-lus
Adoxaceae, Caprifoliaceae
Viburnum opulus
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Broadleaf deciduous shrub, 8-12 ft (2.1-3.5 m), upright, spreading, arching branches.  Leaves opposite, 5-10 cm long, as wide or wider, with pointed lobes, a few disk-like glands on grooved petiole.   May develop yellow-red or reddish-purple colors in fall.  Flowers white, in 5-5.5 cm flat-topped clusters (cymes), those in the outer ring are 2 cm across, showy, and sterile; the inner ones are fertile, inconspicuous, with yellow anthers.  Fruit is globose, 6 mm diam., bright red in fall, may persist into winter as red "raisins".
  • Sun to part shade.  One of the easiest viburnums to grow, but often infested with aphids.   Adaptable to extremes of soil and pH.  Fruits best in full sun.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 3      Native to Europe, including Britain, northern Africa and northern Asia.  Cultivated from at least the 17th century.  Caution: It has invasive tendencies and it is found in the wild from Newfoundland to southern British Columbia and south to Virginia, eastern Nebraska, western South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho and Washington. (
  • There are several cultivars of V. opulus var. opulus, including:
    • 'Nanum'  -  dwarf, 12-24 inches (30-60 cm) tall, wider spread, very compact, mounding, and dense
    • 'Roseum'  -  showy white flowers, in sphere-like clusters, some pink develops when flowers senesce
    • 'Xanthocarpum'  -   white flowers in flat clusters; fruit golden-yellow, translucent when ripe
  • opulus: a reference to its name "Opulus of Dioscorides" given by Jean Ruel (1474-1537), French botanist.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: west side of Gilbert Hall.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • flower clusters and leaves

    flower clusters and leaves

  • leafy shoot

    leafy shoot

  • leafy shoot, comparison

    leafy shoot, comparison

  • leaves


  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison

  • plant habit, fruiting

    plant habit, fruiting

  • foliage and fruit

    foliage and fruit

  • fruit and leaves

    fruit and leaves

  • plant habit and leaf, fall

    plant habit and leaf, fall

  • twigs and buds, winter

    twigs and buds, winter