Viburnum trilobum (American Cranberrybush)


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Viburnum trilobum (American Cranberrybush) Seeds

Zone: 2 to 7.

Native to North America.

The American cranberry bush is an attractive medium-size deciduous shrub native to North America, where it grows naturally in bogs, swampy woods, along lakes and fields.

It is easily identifiable by its three lobed, maple-like, dark green leaves. It features clusters of flat-topped white flowers in spring and drooping clusters of cranberry-like red berries in autumn. The berries (drupes) are edible and are sometimes used to make jams and jellies. The fruit however should not be confused with the cranberry grown commercially for fruit (Vaccinium macrocarpon).  The leaves turn an attractive purplish red in autumn.

An attractive ornamental shrub with attractive features for all seasons, the American cranberry bush makes a good accent plant. It is also good in a shrub border, bird garden or woodland edge. It does well in full sun or part shade and prefers moist, loamy soil, but can adapt to most average soils.

Viburnum trilobum is also known by another botanical name V. opulus var. americanum. It is related to its European cousin (Viburnum opulus).

Size: Height 6 to 12 ft; Width 6 to 12 ft.

Germination Instructions

Soak seeds for 24 hours and drain.

Stratification: Seed requires 90 days warm stratification followed by 90 days cold moist stratification at 3° C (37° F) to 5° C (41° F).

  1. Soak seeds in water for 24 hours.
  2. Place seeds in sandwich bag(s), with a bit of damp sand or vermiculite to keep moist.
  3. Keep at room temperature for about 90 days. Occasionally lightly spray water to keep seeds and sand moist.
  4. Place the bag(s) with seeds in refrigerator for about 90 days.
  5. After the required time take the seeds out of the refrigerator and sow the seeds in pots 1/4 inch deep and cover lightly.
  6. Water gently so as not to wash away the seeds. Keep soil moist but not wet. Seeds can take up to two years or more to germinate, so be patient and do not throw away any seed that hasn’t sprouted yet.