viburnum

American Cranberrybush is a horticultural “sleeper.”

The plant is fairly obscure and nobody is going crazy writing about its virtues, yet it is a stellar native shrub that will add a firecracker of color in the fall and winter to any garden, and attract birds throughout the winter besides! Relatively disease and pest free, what’s not to love?

Well, during the spring it’s a green plant, nothing very showy. But that’s okay; there are tons of spring bulbs and early perennials that are more than willing to take center stage at this time of year. Think of your V. trilobum as a ready and willing green backdrop to your garden stage.

Viburnum trilobum 02 WPC

I personally like lacecap-type flowers and the delicate blossoms that appear in early summer are quite lovely indeed. Crisp white petals against the lush green foliage. Clean and unfussy while the bright and more bawdy annuals take center stage throughout the summer.

viburnum trilobum

In early fall the foliage of American Cranberry begins to turn reddish (notice how much yellow fall foliage there is here in the Willamette Valley?). Then the berries appear: Crimson, succulent pearls in clusters that practically vibrate with the intensity of their color!  It demands attention and becomes a focal point in the late autumn garden. The berries persist into winter, attracting birds and providing a perfect wildlife plant and vibrant garden specimen all in one!

Native to Oregon? Yes, though just barely, it seems. More common in the northeast, but also in the northern reaches of the west coast, into southern Washington, and my sources tell me, also into Oregon. So yes, I declare it a native. Plant it and love it and revel in the beauty it brings to your garden.

If it has a down side, it’s that is likes a fair amount of moisture, so isn’t a good candidate for xeriscaping, but if you have a wet area where you have disconnected a downspout or where water naturally tends to accumulate, you have a spot for this stunning shrub! It doesn’t require full sun though it would take it happily enough, and it wants well-drained soil….it doesn’t require a wet area, but would prefer it….in our climate, this shouldn’t be hard to accommodate, and this plant is so worth the effort to find just the right spot!

Find Natives for your garden

We offer a great selection of Northwest Natives from spring through fall. The plants featured are highlighted favorites, but they do not represent ALL of the plants we carry. For a more complete list, see our Northwest Native Plant List.

Natives

Abies: Native Fir

Natives

Acer Circinatum: Vine Maple

Natives

Actaea: Bugbane

Natives

Aquilegia: Columbine

Natives

Arbutus: Pacific Madrone

Natives

Asarum: Wild Ginger

Natives

Asclepias: Milkweed

Natives

Attracting Butterflies

Natives

Camassia: Camas

Natives

Ceanothus: Wild Lilac

Natives

Cornus sericea

Red Twig Dogwood
Natives

Corylus cornuta

Beaked Hazelnut
Natives

Dodecatheon: Shooting Star

Natives

Edible Fruits

Natives

Erigeron: Fleabane

Natives

Eriophyllum: Oregon Sunshine

Natives

Native Ferns

Natives

Fragaria: Wild Strawberry

Natives

Gaultheria shallon: Salal

Natives

Holodiscus: Oceanspray

Natives

Attracting Hummingbirds

Natives

Native Iris

Natives

Lewisia: Bitterroot

Natives

Mahonia: Oregon Grape

Natives

Malus fusca

Western Crabapple
Natives

Osmaronia: Indian Plum

Natives

Penstemon: Beard Tongue

Natives

Philadelphus: Mock Orange

Natives

Physocarpus

Western Ninebark
Natives

Pinus: Native Pine

Natives

Quercus: Garry Oak

Natives

Rhamnus: Cascara

Natives

Ribes: Wild Currant

Natives

Rosa: Wild Rose

Natives

Rubus: Salmonberry

Natives

Sambucus: Elderberry

Natives

Sedum: Stonecrop

Natives

Sidalcea: Checker Mallow

Natives

Sisyrinchium

Blue-eyed Grass
Natives

Solidago: Goldenrod

Natives

Symphoricarpos: Snowberry

Natives

Synthyris: Native Figwort

Natives

Trillium: Wake Robin

Natives

Vaccinium: Huckleberry

Natives

Vancouveria: Inside-out Flower

Natives

Viburnum trilobum

Cranberrybush
Natives

Viola: Violet

Natives

Winter Interest