European Cranberrybush (Viburnum Opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’)

Plant: Table of Contents

European Cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’): A Comprehensive Guide


Plants have always been an essential part of our environment, providing beauty and contributing to the ecosystem in various ways. The European cranberrybush, scientifically known as Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’, is a captivating shrub that offers an array of uses and benefits. In this extensive guide, we will delve into its cultural requirements, uses, maintenance, common diseases, and pests, empowering you with insights that will help you cultivate and nurture this remarkable plant successfully.

What is Plant: European Cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’)

The European cranberrybush, also known as Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’, is a deciduous shrub that belongs to the Adoxaceae family. It is native to Europe, Northern Africa, and Western Asia, and has been naturalized in certain regions of North America. This plant is celebrated for its attractive foliage, showy flowers, and vibrant berries, making it a popular choice for landscaping and garden cultivation.

Key Takeaways – European Cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’)

Before we delve into the details, let’s outline the key takeaways about the European cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’).

  • Scientific Name: Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’
  • Common Name: European cranberrybush
  • Family: Adoxaceae
  • Plant Type: Deciduous shrub
  • Native Range: Europe, Northern Africa, Western Asia
  • Cultivar: Xanthocarpum

Now let’s explore the cultural requirements, uses, and maintenance guidelines for the European cranberrybush.


Cultivating the European cranberrybush successfully requires an understanding of its specific cultural needs, including water, sunlight, fertilizer, soil, and pruning requirements. Ensuring that these requirements are met is crucial for the overall health and vigor of this plant.


Proper watering is essential for the European cranberrybush, especially during its establishment phase. While it can tolerate a range of soil moisture conditions once established, it prefers consistently moist, well-drained soil. During periods of drought, regular watering is necessary to support healthy growth and flowering.


The European cranberrybush thrives in full to partial sunlight. When selecting a planting site, ensure that the location receives adequate sunlight to promote robust growth and abundant flowering. Insufficient sunlight may lead to reduced flowering and overall vigor of the plant.


Applying a balanced, slow-release fertilizer in spring can provide the European cranberrybush with the essential nutrients it needs for healthy growth and flowering. Look for a fertilizer with a balanced NPK ratio and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for application rates.


This plant thrives in well-drained, moderately fertile soil with a slightly acidic to neutral pH. Amending the soil with organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, can improve its structure and fertility, creating an ideal growing environment for the European cranberrybush.


Pruning is an important aspect of European cranberrybush maintenance, as it helps shape the plant, encourages flowering, and removes dead or damaged wood. Prune the plant in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. Remove any crossing or crowded branches to improve air circulation and overall aesthetics.


The European cranberrybush offers a range of uses, from ornamental purposes to culinary and medicinal applications. Understanding the diverse uses of this plant can enhance its appeal and utility in various settings.


The European cranberrybush is prized for its ornamental value, featuring beautiful clusters of white flowers in spring, followed by bright red, translucent berries in late summer and fall. It serves as an eye-catching focal point in landscapes and gardens, adding visual interest and seasonal color.


The berries of the European cranberrybush are edible and can be used to make preserves, jellies, and sauces. While they are not commonly consumed raw due to their tartness, they can be utilized in culinary creations to impart a unique flavor and vibrant color.


In traditional medicine, certain parts of the European cranberrybush, such as the bark and roots, have been used for their potential medicinal properties. However, it is important to exercise caution and seek guidance from healthcare professionals before using any part of the plant for medicinal purposes.


Propagating the European cranberrybush allows for the expansion of its presence in gardens and landscapes. Understanding the various propagation methods is essential for successfully propagating this plant.

Seed Propagation

Propagating via seeds is one method of reproducing the European cranberrybush. Collect mature berries in the fall, extract the seeds from the pulp, and sow them in a prepared seedbed. Provide adequate moisture and monitor the germination process.

Stem Cuttings

Taking semi-hardwood stem cuttings from the European cranberrybush and rooting them in a suitable growing medium is another effective propagation method. Select healthy, non-flowering stems for optimal results and provide the cuttings with the appropriate environmental conditions to stimulate root development.

Container Popularity

The European cranberrybush can thrive in containers, offering a versatile option for gardeners with limited space or those looking to showcase the plant in a more controlled environment. When grown in containers, it is essential to provide the necessary care and maintenance to support its growth and development.

Container Common Diseases

While growing the European cranberrybush in containers offers several advantages, it is important to be aware of potential diseases that can affect the plant in this setting. Common container diseases may include:

  • Root rot: Overwatering or poorly drained soil in containers can lead to root rot, which may manifest as wilting, yellowing foliage, and stunted growth.
  • Powdery mildew: In humid or poorly ventilated conditions, the plant may be susceptible to powdery mildew, characterized by a white, powdery growth on the foliage.

Disease Diagnosis

Diagnosing diseases affecting the European cranberrybush in containers involves careful observation of the plant’s symptoms and, if necessary, seeking guidance from horticultural professionals. Correctly identifying the disease is crucial for implementing targeted management strategies.

Common Pests

Container cultivation of the European cranberrybush may also expose the plant to various pests, including aphids, scale insects, and spider mites. Regular monitoring and the implementation of pest control measures can help mitigate pest infestations and protect the plant’s health.

Botanist’s Tips

Drawing from the expertise of botanists and horticulturists can provide valuable insights into effectively caring for the European cranberrybush. Consider the following tips from botanical experts to enhance the cultivation and maintenance of this plant:

  • Prune judiciously: Pruning the plant to remove dead or diseased wood, as well as to shape its growth, can promote overall plant health and improve its appearance.
  • Monitor soil moisture: Regularly check the moisture levels in the containerized environment to ensure proper watering and prevent waterlogged or dry conditions.

Fun Facts

The European cranberrybush is a plant of intrigue, boasting an array of captivating characteristics and historical significance. Here are some fun facts about this remarkable plant:

  • Historical uses: In traditional European folklore, the European cranberrybush was associated with various cultural beliefs and was used in certain rituals and customs.
  • Wildlife attraction: The plant’s berries are a valuable food source for birds, adding ecological value to the landscape and supporting local wildlife.

Links to External Resources

For further exploration of the European cranberrybush and related topics, consider the following external resources:

  • The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS): The RHS provides detailed information on Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’, including its characteristics and cultivation guidelines.
  • Missouri Botanical Garden: The Missouri Botanical Garden offers resources on plant care, botanical research, and educational opportunities.

In conclusion, the European cranberrybush (Viburnum opulus ‘Xanthocarpum’) stands as a captivating plant with a wealth of uses and ornamental appeal. By understanding its cultural requirements, propagation methods, and potential challenges, enthusiasts and horticulturalists alike can cultivate and appreciate this remarkable shrub to its fullest potential.

By embracing its unique traits and leveraging expert insights, you can foster the growth of the European cranberrybush, enriching your garden or landscape with its beauty and ecological contributions.

Picture of Peter Taylors

Peter Taylors

Expert botanist who loves plants. His expertise spans taxonomy, plant ecology, and ethnobotany. An advocate for plant conservation, he mentors and educates future botanists, leaving a lasting impact on the field.