Sunday spotlight: Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’.

Almost as showy as hydrangeas (but far hardier), the “snowball” viburnums are in full bloom right now.  Viburnum opulus ‘Roseum’ (syn. ‘Sterile’) is closely related to Viburnum trilobum, which is commonly known as high bush cranberry or American cranberrybush, despite the fact that it is not really a cranberry at all.  (Viburnums are from the honeysuckle family, while “bog” cranberries are related to plants such as bilberries, blueberries, and heather).  Viburnum trilobum grows here in Alberta as well, and bears bright red fruit with a tart taste reminiscent of true cranberries.  The snowball viburnums do not bear fruit, but the ornamental value of their gorgeous blossoms is obvious.

Do you grow any types of Viburnums in your garden?  Have you ever eaten high bush cranberry fruit?

The blooms of snowball Viburnum are initially a gorgeous acid-green colour…

…and mature to a creamy white. 


  1. I have never grown viburnum, but my Mum has a lovely scented one that flowers in the spring. And I’ve never eaten a high bush cranberry! Do they taste like normal cranberries?

    • They’re very reminiscent of regular cranberries, very tart, but sort of “wild” tasting, if you know what I mean. I’ve only eaten them in jam, and there was a lot of sugar tempering them. I think they would be really good in a sauce alongside poultry or game.

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