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Highbush Cranberry

Viburnum edule

Highbush-Cranberry

APPEARANCE

Highbush cranberry is a bush with smooth grey to red bark and groups of small white flowers. The leaves are large with three points. Red, juicy berries grow in groups of two to five.

RANGE & HABITAT

This cranberry grows in moist forests and along the edges of streams and rivers, as well as rocky areas in middle to low elevations.

LIFE CYCLE

Clusters of white flowers develop into groups of drooping red berries, which have a large flattened seed.

ANIMAL USES

The berries are important for over-wintering birds. They are one of the few berries that are available all winter.

TRADITIONAL FIRST NATIONS USES

The berries have a history as an important food source for people in the central and coastal regions. They were traditionally stored while still hard and green, in boxes with oil and water. Berries became softer and sweeter over time and these boxes were valuable gifts during feasts. The bark is used as medicine for lung colds and as an eye medicine.

MODERN USES

Berries are eaten and can be used to make a tasty cranberry sauce.

STATUS

COSEWIC: Not at Risk
CDC: Yellow

MORE INFORMATION

Evergreen Native Plants Database

Photo: Anna Hesser