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Highbush Cranberry

(Viburnum trilobum)

Other Names:

American cranberrybush, cranberry tree, crampbark tree, guelder-rose, wild gueldes-rose, gueldres-rose, cherry-wood, rose elder, red elder, marsh elder, water elder, white elder, gadrise, gaiter tree, gatten, love rose, May rose, pincushion tree, dog rowan tree, whitten tree, squaw bush, witch-hobble, witchhopple



Caprifoliaceae Honeysuckle family

Identifying characteristics:

Growth Type:

A woody shrub.


Grows up to 17' tall


Opposite leaves consisting of 3 strong, long, pointed lobes which are coarsely toothed, and 2" - 4" long. Leafstalks have tiny dome shaped glands at base of leaf blades.


Woody shrub with leafstalks that have tiny dome shaped glands at base of leaf blades.





Flowers blossom from May-July. Fruits ripen in Sep - Oct


Small flower clusters consisting of multiple 5 petaled white flowers.


Fruits ripen in Sep - Oct, and, if the birds do not find them, they will often remain throughout the winter. Fruit is bright red, tart, and juicy.

Miscellaneous characteristics:

Although not related to Cranberry (Vaccinium spp.), Highbush Cranberries can be used in the same manner.


Cool woods, thickets, shores, rocky slopes.

Parts Used:



Wild Food Uses:

Highbush Cranberry fruit can  be eaten fresh, or cooked. Many people find the berries too tart to eat fresh, but cooking with some lemon peel yields a wonderful stewed fruit. Can also be crushed and mixed with water for a refreshing drink. Excellent in jams and jellies. This fruit is high in vitamin C.

The following text is meant for informational purposes only. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any illness or injury. Always consult with a physician or other qualified medical care provider concerning the diagnosis and treatment of any illness or injury.

Medicinal Uses:

The bark of highbush cranberry has been used for relief of menstrual and stomach cramps and asthma.

Medicinal Actions:

Antispasmodic, Antiasthmatic

Photos courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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Revised: 05/11/16 Living Afield