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American Cranberrybush

Viburnum trilobum Marsh.

American Cranberrybush
Figure 3.—American cranberrybush (Viburnum trilobum)
Synonym.Viburnum opulus americanum.

Other common names.—Crampbark tree, cranberry tree, highbush cranberry, wild gueldes-rose, gueldres-rose, cherry-wood, dog rowan tree, whitten tree, red elder, rose elder, marsh elder, water elder, white elder, gadrise, gaiter tree, gatten, love rose, May rose, pincushion tree, squaw bush, witch-hobble, witchhopple.

Habitat and range.—This native shrub occurs in low rich woods and borders of fields from New Jersey, Michigan and Oregon northward.

Description.—The American cranberrybush grows from 8 to 10 feet high with branches generally erect and smooth. The 3-lobed, broadly oval, coarsely toothed leaves are usually smooth on the upper surface, but with the veins on the lower surface somewhat hairy. The snowy white flower clusters, which appear in June, are about 3 to 4 inches across. The flowers on the outside of the cluster are sometimes an inch in diameter, but those on the inside are smaller. The red fruits, which ripen rather late in the season and remain on the bush for some time, are roundish, sour and contain a round flat stone. They bear some resemblance to the cranberry; hence some of the common names applied to the plant.

Part used.—The bark, collected in the fall.


Sievers, A.F. 1930. The Herb Hunters Guide. Misc. Publ. No. 77. USDA, Washington DC.
Last update March 12, 1998 by aw