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365 Urban Species. #300: Cranberry Viburnum


Photo by cottonmanifesto. Location: Leverett Pond, Boston.

Cranberry viburnum Viburnum opulus

Viburnum is a genus of shrubs and small trees, many species of which are planted around the city. Cranberry viburnum is also called cranberrybush and highbush cranberry, but is not closely related to cranberry. Its bright red berries look somewhat similar to cranberries, and can be used to make jam. They persist on the shrub through the winter providing food for birds. There are two varieties of of cranberry viburnum, one native to North America and one European, but they are considered to be the same species. Both varieties are cultivated in nurseries and are popular in urban and suburban landscaping. Year-round, the shrub is attractive. It produces attractive clusters of white blossoms in spring, and has maple-like leaves that turn red late in autumn; when they fall in winter, the translucent berries provide interest until the flowers come again in the next spring.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 29th, 2006 04:51 pm (UTC)
So they're edible? Nifty!

I have a question about a plant I've seen, and I can't find pictures because I don't know its's a tree, usually seen in landscaping, and the fruits look a LOT like the body of a pineapple with little medalion-like scales all over. They turn a nice light red color, and when you squish them, they have thick yellow goop inside. They're about the size of strawberries and kinda heart-shaped.

The only place I have seen them recently is at the office building next to the Riverside terminal on the green line, but I bet you can find them elsewhere. They look like they should be tasty, but I've never tried them because I have no idea what they are.
Oct. 29th, 2006 06:59 pm (UTC)
Oct. 29th, 2006 11:26 pm (UTC)
Kousa dogwood! Thanks!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


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