Herbs & Plants

Viburnum edule

Botanical Name : Viburnum edule
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
Species: V. edule
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Synonym(s): Viburnum pauciflorum,V. opulus edule. V. opulus pauciflorum. V. pauciflorum.

Common Names: Mooseberry, Squashberry,  Pimbina, Highbush cranberry, Lowbush cranberr  Moosomin, Moosewood viburnum, Few-flowered cranberry bush

Habitat :Viburnum edule is native to E. Asia. Eastern N. America. It grows in woods, thickets and cool mountain slopes.

Viburnum edules is a perennial traggling to erect deciduous Shrub, 2-7 ft. tall, with smooth, leafy branches. Leaves are sometimes 3-lobed and always palmately veined. White flowers occur in dense, broad, flat-topped clusters on short branches. The fruit is yellow, becoming red or orange in late fall. Straggly shrub with opposite, 3-lobed leaves and sour, edible red berries...CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Except in fall, when this plant adds a vivid splash of color to northern forests, Moosewood Viburnum is often overlooked, being rather straggly in appearance. There are more than 100 species of viburnum in the world, 15 of which occur in North America, primarily in the northern latitudes.
It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile…..

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and can grow in heavy clay soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but is ill-adapted for poor soils and for dry situations. It prefers a deep rich loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Prefers a slightly acidic soil. Best if given shade from the early morning sun in spring. Plants are possibly self-incompatible and may need to grow close to a genetically distinct plant in the same species in order to produce fruit and fertile seed. Closely allied to V. opulus, but this species has no sterile flowers in the inflorescence and is a superior fruiting form.
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking more than 18 months. If the seed is harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has fully ripened) and sown immediately in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Stored seed will require 2 months warm then 3 months cold stratification and can still take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of soft-wood, early summer in a frame. Pot up into individual pots once they start to root and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8 cm long with a heel if possible, July/August in a frame. Plant them into individual pots as soon as they start to root. These cuttings can be difficult to overwinter, it is best to keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring before planting them out. Cuttings of mature wood, winter in a frame. They should root in early spring – pot them up when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if sufficient new growth is made, otherwise keep them in a cold frame for the next winter and then plant them out in the spring. Layering of current seasons growth in July/August. Takes 15 months.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. The fully ripe fruits are mildly acid with a pleasant taste. The ovoid fruit is about 8mm long and contains a single large seed. The fruit can also be dried for winter use. It is highly valued for jam. It is best before a frost and with the skin removed. Another report says that the native Americans would often not harvest the fruit until it had been frosted. Some caution is advised, see the notes above on toxicity. Flowers – used in fritters.

Medicinal Uses:
Antispasmodic; Astringent; Odontalgic; Salve.

The bark is antispasmodic and astringent. An infusion of the crushed inner bark has been used in the treatment of dysentery and has also been used as a purgative. The bark has been chewed and the juice swallowed in the treatment of whooping cough and ‘cold on the lungs’. A decoction of the stems has been used in the treatment of coughs. An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used as a gargle in the treatment of sore throats. The twig tips have been chewed and the juice swallowed in the treatment of sore throats. A poultice of the chewed, unopened flower buds has been applied to lip sores. A decoction of the roots has been used to treat sickness associated with teething.

Other Uses: Basket making…..The stems have been used to reinforce birch bark basket rims.

Known Hazards: Although no records of toxicity have been seen for this species, it is closely related to V. opulus, the raw fruit of which can cause nausea in some people if it is eaten in large quantities, although the cooked fruit is perfectly alright.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

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