E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

viburnum edule (Michx.) Raf.
highbush-cranberry (mooseberry; squashberry)
Adoxaceae (Honeysuckle family)
(Previously in Caprifoliaceae)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #70605)

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Distribution of viburnum edule
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Species Information

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Deciduous, sprawling to erect shrub, spreading from rhizomes and by layering, 0.5-3.5 m tall; twigs glabrous; bark smooth, reddish to grey.
Opposite, stalked, elliptic in outline, most shallowly 3-lobed but some unlobed, jaggedly toothed, often with an isolated pair of glandular teeth near the junction of the blade and stalk, glabrous or hairy beneath, especially along the veins, turning crimson in the fall.
Inflorescence a small, compact, flat or rounded cluster of few to several flowers, 1-3 cm across, borne on short axillary stalks with a pair of leaves; flowers all alike and fertile; petals whitish, fused at bases into tubes that flare (4-7 mm wide) at the tops to 5 lobes; stamens inconspicuous, the filaments 1 mm long or less.
Berrylike drupes, clustered, red or orange, 0.8-1.5 cm long, each with a single, large, flattened stone.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Late Spring
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Red
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Wet to moist streambanks, swamps and forests in the lowland, steppe and montane zones; frequent throughout BC; N to AK, YT and NT, E to NF, and S to PA, ID, CO and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for viburnum edule

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 841 2500
Slope Gradient (%) -2 13 262
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 343 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BWBS(1246), CWH(284), ESSF(330), ICH(1007), IDF(205), MH(5), MS(347), PP(4), SBPS(111), SBS(2433), SWB(43)

Ecological Indicator Information

Shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine, transcontinental North American deciduous shrub. Occurs in continental boreal and cool temperate climates on fresh to very moist, nitrogen-rich soils; occurrence increases with increasing continentality. Rare to common (especially in broad-leaved forests) on water-receiving and water-collecting sites. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Viburnum pauciflorum La Pylaie ex Torr. & A. Gray

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References