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Viburnum opulus subsp. trilobum

Viburnum opulus subsp. trilobum - American cranberrybush

The American cranberrybush is from the northern parts of North America. It can be found from the Atlantic seaboard almost across to the Pacific, usually as one of the shrubs under the deciduous forest canopy, where it grows somewhat straggly due to lack of light. In sunnier spots it grows erect and dense.

The European cranberrybush, (V. opulus subsp. opulus) is closely related to the American, which Europeans often consider to be a subspecies (V. opulus subsp. trilobum) of the European species. In America, however, they are considered separate species, and several large-berried varieties have been developed there for fruit production.

American cranberrybush produces the abundant cream-coloured flowers typical of the viburnums, the outer ring of sterile flowers attracting insects. The fruits are yellowish berries which ripen in autumn to glowing red. The foliage also turns red in autumn. Given these characteristics and the edibility of the berries, the Americans themselves consider their native species superior to the European.


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