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Viburnum trilobum American Cranberry Viburnum

Viburnum trilobum

American Cranberry Viburnum

A dense rounded shrub growing 8-12' tall and wide.  Dark green, 3 lobed leaves have a tinge of red when first emerging.  White, flat-topped inflorescences appear in mid to late May consisting of a center of fertile flowers with an outer ring of larger sterile ray flowers.  Fruit is bright red from August and persists well into February.  Fruit is edible and was used by the pioneers in making jellies and preserves.  Fall color is yellow to red.  Native stands can be found growing in low wetland areas from New Brunswick to British Columbia and New York, Michigan, South Dakota, and Oregon.  Now it would be considered almost non-existant in the trade due to improved cultivars with superior fruit quality and a more compact habit.  From a historical standpoint, in the early 1900's, A.E. Morgan undertook a study of V. trilobum in an effort to improve the species.  Seed was collected from plants in the northern tier of states in the United States and from Canada.  3300 plants were assembled in a plantataion in the Berkshire Mountains, Massachusetts in 1915 for evaluation.  In 1921 the study was taken over by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  In 1922 three of the best selections were released to the trade.  They were named 'Andrews', 'Hahs', and 'Wentworth'.  Unfortunately the plantation was abandoned 10 years later and destroyed by 1960 to make way for the Massachusetts Turnpike.

USDA Hardiness Zone:



8-10 ft


8-10 ft

Viburnum trilobum Characteristics

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderate


  • Rounded

Soil Requirements

  • Moist, well drained
  • Acid
  • Tolerant of wet sites

Sun Requirements

  • Full Sun to Part Shade

Fall Color

  • Red

Flowering Season

  • Mid to late May

Fragrant Flowers

  • No


  • Dark red
  • Abundant and showy
  • Persistant if not eaten by birds

Native to

  • North America
  • Canada

Winter foliage

  • Deciduous