A familiar native shrub of moist hedgerows, the guelder rose or European cranberry bush is a large spreading bush with vigorous greyish stems and maple-like leaves, which colour up an opulent red in autumn. It is too burly for most gardens, where 'Compactum' is a more suitable choice, growing up to 1.5m (5ft) high, but usually less. Despite its reduced size, it flowers and fruits freely, the conspicuous lace-cap heads of white summer blooms giving way to bright-red, translucent berries, which often survive into winter. To propagate, take cuttings in summer. Viburnum is best grown in sunny or semi-shaded sites in deep, fertile, not too dry soil. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit.
Plant type: Deciduous shrub
Flower colour: White
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Autumn colour, Flowers, Fruit, Attractive to wildlife
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Moist, Boggy
Skill level: Beginner
Time to take cuttings: June to July
Flowering period: May to June
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