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Viburnum opulus
  • RHS Plants for pollinators

guelder rose

A vigorous, bushy, deciduous shrub to 5m, with maple-like, palmately lobed, dark green leaves, tinted red in autumn. Flat clusters of lacecap-like flowers, composed of tubular white fertile flowers surrounded by larger white sterile flowers in late spring and early summer, followed by translucent bright red fruits often persisting into winter

Other common names
crampbark
cranberry
see moredog eller
dog rowan
European cranberry bush
European cranberry tree
gatten
marsh alder
ople tree
red elder
rose elder
snowball tree
water elder
whitten tree
gatten tree
Buy this plant
Size
Ultimate height
4–8 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
2.5–4 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring White Green
Summer White Green
Autumn Red Red
Winter Red
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

North–facing or West–facing or South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H6
Botanical details
Family
Viburnaceae
Native to the UK
Yes
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Columnar upright
Potentially harmful
Fruit are ornamental - not to be eaten. Wear gloves and other protective equipment when handling
Genus

Viburnum can be deciduous or evergreen shrubs with opposite, simple or palmately lobed leaves and clusters of small, often fragrant white or pink flowers, followed by red, blue or black berries

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Eurasia N W Africa

How to grow

Cultivation

Suitable for shrub border, wildlife or woodland garden. Grow in moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in sun or part shade. See viburnum cultivation for further advice

Propagation

Propagate by seed in containers in a cold frame in autumn or propagate by softwood cuttings (greenwood) in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Coastal
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Wildlife gardens
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Hedging and screens
Pruning

Pruning group 8 after flowering unless fruit is required

Pests

May be susceptible to aphids and viburnum beetle

Diseases

May be susceptible to Phytophthora, honey fungus, grey moulds and leaf spot

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