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European Cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus L.)

Also known as guelder-rose, guelder rose, European snowball bush.

Both USDA and BONAP use the name Viburnum opulus L. to refer to a taxon including both populations native to North America, and those introduced from Europe. POWO, however, has split the native populations into its own species, Viburnum trilobum, and we have adopted this scheme. Under our treatment, this taxon thus includes only introduced populations, and native populations are classified as American cranberrybush (Viburnum trilobum).

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Range - Expand

Introduced or Not Present

This tentative map is based on our own research. It may have limited data on Canada and/or Mexico, and there is some subjectivity in our assignment of plants as introduced vs. expanded. Read more in this blog post.

This species has also been introduced in Canada, but we have yet to build this portion of its range map.


Virtually all the common names of this species are somehow misleading. The name "snowball bush" is ambiguous, referring not only to three Viburnum species, including this species, Japanese snowball (Viburnum plicatum), and Viburnum macrocephalum, but also to wild hydrangea (Hydrangea arborescens) and panicled hydrangea (Hydrangea paniculata). The common name "guelder rose" is also misleading as this species is not in the rose family nor does it share many characteristics with roses. And the name "European cranberrybush" is misleading as this species is not closely related to cranberries. However, we have chosen to give that name preference as it is most descriptive and, with the "European" descriptor, not ambiguous.

Viburnum opulus (Eurasian Cranberry Bush) | Illinois Wildflowers (About This Site)

Viburnum opulus (European cranberrybush) | USDA PLANTS Database (About This Site)

Viburnum opulus | Go Botany (About This Site)

Viburnum opulus (European Cranberrybush) | Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder (About This Site)

Viburnum opulus var. opulus - Highbush-Cranberry | Biota of North America Project (BONAP) (About This Site)

Viburnum opulus L. | Plants of the World Online (POWO) (About This Site)

Viburnum opulus | NatureServe Explorer (About This Site)

Viburnum opulus | Missouri Plants (About This Site)

European Cranberrybush | Maryland Biodiversity Project (About This Site)

Viburnum opulus L. var. opulus (Guelder-rose Viburnum, Snowball) | Digital Atlas of the Virginia Flora (About This Site)