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 (  However, a good portion of the region in which the European Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum opulus var. opulus) is reportedly invasive includes the natural range of the American Cranberrybush Viburnum (Viburnum opulus var. americanum); the two species are very similar in appearance and misidentification is very possible.
  • There are several cultivars of V. opulus var. opulus, including:
    • 'Compactum'  -  reduced size, 4-6 ft tall, very compact and dense
    • '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