Highbush cranberry shrubs tend to have multiple stems suckering up from around the original main stem, and the main stem usually only gets about 2 inches in diameter (Minnesota Wildflowers 2019). Much of the astringency is in the seeds, so they should be removed before boiling the fruit, which nicely gels due to its high pectin content. IDENTIFICATION: Viburnum trilobum: A deciduous shrub to 12 feet (4 m) tall. Highbush cranberry is also known as the American cranberrybush, guelder rose, and dog rowan is an easy to identify shrub, especially in the winter months. They do NOT need wet … The European cranberry bush and the native highbush are very hard to tell apart. ), lake shores, forest-swamp transitions, forest edges, and clearings can all be prime habitat for this plant. Bark gray and rough, scaly. Not producing the edible cranberries associated with Thanksgiving, the highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus var. Imagine how special that dinner would be if you could pair it with some homemade highbush cranberry syrup. It's current Latin name, Viburnum opulus L. var. If you own private land within the grouse range, survey your property in the spring/early summer to look for the bright white flower clusters or in September to look for the bright red berries and maple-like leaves. Highbush cranberry has a moderate growth rate of up to 1 metre per year (3'). The European introduction, called Guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus var. But how is a kid supposed to learn if they don’t at least attempt something stupid? Highbush cranberries are confusing, first, as they aren’t really a cranberry at all, as true cranberries are in the blueberry family or Vaccinium which makes small low-growing bushy plants, while highbush cranberry is a small shrubby tree, more similar to something like Armelenchier, or serviceberries. After trying and quickly spitting out several different wild berries, I distinctly remember finding a cluster of bright red berries that looked beautiful but smelled horrible. While overall habitat quality, including dense cover types adjacent to food sources, is more important for winter survival of ruffed grouse, it definitely helps to have a variety of options for grouse to feed on. Although it is shade-tolerant, it prefers full sun and will grow and bear fruit the best in sunny conditions. Highbush cranberry is used as an ornamental plant and valued for its edible fruits. There is an outer ring of florets that are particularly showy. Highbush cranberry is a great choice for hedging, creating a windbreak or decorating a corner of the garden. American Woodcock Society, https://www.minnesotawildflowers.info/shrub/american-highbush-cranberry, https://extension.umaine.edu/cranberries/highbush-cranberry/, https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_viopa2.pdf. Wildlife benefits from the plant's fruits that remain on the shrub into winter. Highbush cranberries are in the Honeysuckle family, and are actually related to elderberries. The fruits are extremely tart but sweeten after a frost. Older shrubs have bark that is gray or brown and that is slightly rough. The high bush cranberry is sometimes called Viburnum opulus var. The pistil and ovary lack a style. The American highbush cranberry is native to the northern United States and the southern third or so of Canada, where it is found growing along streams and ponds, in river bottom forests, in hardwood swamps, and occasionally upland. The leaves are opposite, serrated, and tri-lobed, somewhat resembling those of a maple tree. It is up to the reader to verify nutritional information and health benefits with qualified professionals for all edible plants listed in this web site. Many people don’t recognize highbush cranberry and even fewer utilize it themselves or for hunting purposes. Description and Identification Highbush cranberry (Viburnum opulus var. The fruit is acidic but edible off the plant and when properly prepared makes a good preserve. americanum) has tart, acid fruit that is best served in jellies, jams, sauces and relishes. It does best in well-drained, moist rich, loamy soils. The smaller flowers in the center are the fertile ones that will produce fruit, and it’s likely the larger ones attract pollinators. americanum (trilobum), as some consider it a subspecies of the Eurasian variety. If there are limited mid-winter food sources available, planting highbush cranberry could be beneficial on your property. Highbush cranberry plants are native to some of the coldest regions of North America. The highbush cranberry is a medium height shrub, growing 8 to 15 feet tall on average and spreading roughly 10 feet (Minnesota Wildflowers 2019). Green Deane’s “Itemized” Plant Profile: High Bush Cranberry. The petiole is grooved and has round, raised glands near the base. But the fruits can resemble them in taste and looks (University of Maine Extension 2019). Here’s how you can identify it and maybe even use it to your advantage this fall. So if they’re not high on the grouse menu, why should you care about this shrub? Highbush cranberries are high in vitamin C. They get their red hue from the phytonutrient anthocyanin, which along with the vitamin C, offers beneficial antioxidant properties. If you find one with lots of berries on it, take a GPS point or mark it somehow. The glands of Guelder-rose are usually “shorter than wide, oval-elliptic, and bowl or cup shaped (concave) with a distinct rim; those of the native are typically taller than wide, round to oval, flat or rounded (convex) at the tip, and lack a distinct rim” (Minnesota Wildflowers 2019). Many birds prefer to eat the berries after they have been once frozen and thawed, which reduces the acidic content. Looking back now, I recognize that was likely a highbush cranberry shrub. Established plants can tolerate drought. Bark on older stems becomes gray and scaly. At the base of the leaf, there are small glands that can identify them. But because they often persist on the shrub until mid-winter, it’s likely they are not especially palatable to wildlife. Around the edge of the cluster, large white flowers surround numerous tiny white flowers (USDA NRCS 2019). They also mature in the fall, as cranberries do. Fruit of the American highbush cranberry is tart, acidic and astringent which makes it unpalatable to eat as a fresh fruit. north-east United States (zones 4-7), but do grow elsewhere. Sources:Minnesota Wildflowers. These have the reproductive parts of five stamens that have white filaments and creamy coloured anthers and which are exerted from the corolla. While you’re hunting a property throughout the fall, keep an eye out for highbush cranberry plants in the habitats mentioned above. Highbush cranberry fruits are quite tart early in the season, nearly inedible, which is why people often process them into jellies or syrups with lots of additional sugar. Across this range, it grows in a variety of conditions and habitats. Accessed at: https://plants.usda.gov/factsheet/pdf/fs_viopa2.pdf, Filed Under: Habitat, Read Tagged With: forest management, Grouse, grouse habitat, highbush cranberry, © 2019 • Ruffed Grouse Society & 2019. The fruit ripens in … Highbush Cranberry Jelly, Highbush Cranberry Juice, Highbush Cranberry Sauce, Highbush Cranberry Smoothie. Click, All listed plants are found in central-east Canada and The flowers of the highbush cranberry shrub usually appear after the leaves emerge (i.e., from May to June), and occur as flat clusters 2 to 5 inches across. These are sterile, whereas the inner cluster of small florets are fertile. They thrive in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 2 through 7. Stems arch, dense, twigs reddish-brown. After the flowering period the fruit forms and gradually changes colour from green to the deep red (by August into September). The white flowers occur throughout May and June and are of two types. The highbush cranberry is actually not a cranberry at all, though its fruit, or ‘drupes’ as they are known taxonomically, strongly resemble cranberries in both appearance and taste. And it makes a really interesting jelly or syrup to pair with a ruffed grouse dinner. Even if you don’t get a direct benefit from hunting grouse near them, they could help grouse on your land survive the winter better, which could increase your chances of success the following fall. The American cranberry (Viburnum opulus var. Likewise, it can occur in many different soils (e.g., sand, loam, clay) but it typically grows best in consistently wet but well-drained soils (i.e., more on the loamy side). The flavor and appearance of the fruit from highbush cranberry plants is a lot like true cranberries. The shrubs grow up to 12 feet tall with a similar spread, so give them plenty of room. The PLANTS Database. But the fruits can resemble them in taste and looks (University of Maine Extension 2019). americanum Aiton was formerly known as Viburnum trilobum. Highbush cranberry fruit (or drupes) grow on a deciduous shrub that can grow anywhere between 3 and 5 metres in height. In-depth wild edible PDFs. 2019. For example, riparian areas (e.g., streams, river banks, etc. Others tend to refer to it simply as Viburnum trilobum. The leaves occur opposite, are simple, 3-lobed and 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4”) long. To support our efforts please browse our store (books with medicinal info, etc.).