Overview

Distribution

National Distribution

Canada

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

United States

Origin: Unknown/Undetermined

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Unknown/Undetermined

Confidence: Confident

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Global Range: VIBURNUM EDULE occurs from Alaska to Newfoundland, south to Oregon, northern Idaho, Colorado, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania.

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Highbush cranberry is distributed throughout Alaska and across Canada to
Newfoundland. It occurs south through the New England and Great Lakes
States, and the Pacific Northwest [1,18,45,49,58]. Populations are also
found in Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado
[10,11,26,43,53].

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Regional Distribution in the Western United States

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This species can be found in the following regions of the western United States (according to the Bureau of Land Management classification of Physiographic Regions of the western United States):

1 Northern Pacific Border
2 Cascade Mountains
8 Northern Rocky Mountains
9 Middle Rocky Mountains
11 Southern Rocky Mountains
15 Black Hills Uplift

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Occurrence in North America

AK CO CT ID IA ME MD MA MI MN
MT NH NY ND OR PA RI SD VT WA
WI WY AB BC LB MB NB NF NT NS
ON PE PQ SK YT

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Physical Description

Morphology

Description

More info for the term: shrub

Highbush cranberry is a straggling to erect deciduous shrub that reaches
heights ranging from 2 to 12 feet (0.6-3.5 m) [22,32,58]. It has
several to many stems that may grow to 1.5 inches (4 cm) in diameter
[58]. The plant has smooth gray bark and sharply toothed leaves that
are shallowly lobed. Milky-white flowers are borne in few-flowered
terminal cymes. The fruit is an orange to red drupe that contains one
seed [1,32,58]. The berries often overwinter on twigs. Highbush
cranberry roots in the organic layer [51] and is rhizomatous [22].

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat characteristics

More info for the terms: bog, presence, swamp

Highbush cranberry is found in moist woods or forests, along stream or
lake margins on gravel or rocky banks, and on swamp or bog margins
[22,49,58]. In British Columbia, the plant is found from sea level to
about 4,900 feet (1,500 m) [22], but in Colorado elevational range is
7,000 to 9,000 feet (2,100-2,700 m) [26]. The southern extent of
highbush cranberry's distribution is determined by high temperatures and
low humidity. Its presence at northern latitudes indicates a high
tolerance to frost and the ability to grow in low soil and air
temperatures. In moist climates, highbush cranberry grows on submesic
to subhydric soils, but in drier climates it is restricted to subhygric
and wetter moisture regimes. Highbush cranberry commonly grows under a
deciduous or coniferous canopy but probably develops best under full
sunlight [22].

Highbush cranberry grows best on well-drained, alluvial soils
[6,9,12,62]. Soil textures include clay, silty clay, sandy clay loam,
and fine loam [9,33,62]. Soil types include Luvisols, Brunisols,
Humo-Ferric Podzols, Regosols, and Gleysols [22].

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Key Plant Community Associations

More info for the terms: codominant, fern

Highbush cranberry may occur as a dominant or codominant understory
species in open or closed coniferous forests, primarily in white spruce
(Picea glauca) [12,19,50,57], but also in lodgepole pine (Pinus
contorta) [7] or western redcedar (Thuja plicata) habitats [25]. It may
also occur as an understory dominant in open or closed deciduous forests
with quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides), paper birch (Betula
papyrifera), or balsam poplar (P. balsamifera) [7,19,57].

Common understory associates include: willows (Salix spp.), alders
(Alnus spp.), raspberries (Rubus spp.), currants (Ribes spp.), prickly
rose (Rosa acicularis), lignonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea), rusty
menziesia (Menziesia ferruginea), hazelnut (Corylus cornuta), bog
Labrador tea (Ledum groenlandicum), one sided wintergreen (Pyrola
secunda), dogwoods (Cornus canadensis and C. stolonifera), buffaloberry
(Shepherdia canadensis), devil's club (Oplopanax horridus), queencup
beadlily (Clintonia uniflora), oak fern (Gymnocarpium dryopteris),
twinflower (Linnaea borealis), twinberry honeysuckle (Lonicera
involucrata), fireweed (Epilobium angustifolium), bearberry
(Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), horsetails (Equisetum pratense, E. arvense,
and E. sylvanicum), bluejoint reedgrass (Calamagrostis canadensis), and
various feather mosses (Hylocomium and Pleurozium spp.), sedges (Carex spp.),
lichens (Cladonia and Cladina spp.) and sphagnum mosses.

Published classifications listing highbush cranberry as a dominant
understory species in plant associations (pas), community types (cts),
or vegetation types (vts) are as follows:

AREA CLASSIFICATION AUTHORITY

wc AB forest cts Corns 1983
int AK gen. veg. cts Dyrness and others 1989
int AK postfire forest cts Foote 1983
YT vts Stanek 1980
BC: Salmon River Valley vts Harcombe and others 1983
AK gen. veg. pas Viereck & Dyrness 1980

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Habitat: Plant Associations

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This species is known to occur in association with the following plant community types (as classified by Küchler 1964):

More info for the term: bog

K001 Spruce - cedar - hemlock forest
K004 Fir - hemlock forest
K008 Lodgepole pine - subalpine forest
K015 Western spruce - fir forest
K025 Alder - ash forest
K093 Great Lakes spruce - fir forest
K094 Conifer bog
K095 Great Lakes pine forest
K096 Northeastern spruce - fir forest
K107 Northern hardwoods - fir forest
K108 Northern hardwoods - spruce forest

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Habitat: Ecosystem

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This species is known to occur in the following ecosystem types (as named by the U.S. Forest Service in their Forest and Range Ecosystem [FRES] Type classification):

FRES10 White - red - jack pine
FRES11 Spruce - fir
FRES19 Aspen - birch
FRES23 Fir - spruce
FRES24 Hemlock - Sitka spruce
FRES26 Lodgepole pine
FRES28 Western hardwoods

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Habitat: Cover Types

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This species is known to occur in association with the following cover types (as classified by the Society of American Foresters):

1 Jack pine
5 Balsam fir
12 Black spruce
13 Black spruce - tamarack
16 Aspen
17 Pin cherry
18 Paper birch
38 Tamarack
107 White spruce
201 White spruce
202 White spruce - paper birch
203 Balsam poplar
204 Black spruce
205 Mountain hemlock
206 Engelmann spruce - subalpine fir
217 Aspen
218 Lodgepole pine
222 Black cottonwood - willow
224 Western hemlock
227 Western redcedar - western hemlock
228 Western redcedar
251 White spruce - aspen
252 Paper birch
253 Black spruce - white spruce
254 Black spruce - paper birch

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General Ecology

Broad-scale Impacts of Plant Response to Fire

More info for the term: prescribed fire

The Research Project Summary Understory recovery after burning and reburning
quaking aspen stands in central Alberta
provides information on prescribed
fire and postfire response of plant community species including highbush
cranberry.

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Plant Response to Fire

More info for the terms: density, shrubs

Highbush cranberry sprouts within weeks following fire [19,22] and often
becomes one of the dominant postfire shrubs [22]. Low-severity fires
stimulate germination of seeds stored in the soil [24,47]. Abundance of
the plant may be initially reduced after fire, but an increase over
prefire density may take place within the next 10 years [6,28].

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Immediate Effect of Fire

Fire top-kills highbush cranberry. Moderate- to high-severity fires
which remove soil organic layers may kill roots, underground stems, and
buried seeds.

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Post-fire Regeneration

More info for the terms: caudex, root crown, secondary colonizer

survivor species; on-site surviving root crown or caudex
survivor species; on-site surviving rhizomes
ground-stored residual colonizer; fire-activated seed on-site in soil
off-site colonizer; seed carried by animals or water; postfire yr 1&2
secondary colonizer; off-site seed carried to site after year 2

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Fire Ecology

Highbush cranberry sprouts from the stump, roots, or underground stems
following fire [13,61]. Sprouting may also occur at the base of
fire-killed aboveground stems [22,24]. Highbush cranberry roots are
buried approximately 8 inches (20 cm) below the soil surface, allowing
them to survive light fires that do not entirely remove the organic
layer [51]. Rhizomes will also survive fires of this nature. Highbush
cranberry seeds are hard and have thick seed coats, making them somewhat
resistant to fire [59]. Regeneration by seeds stored in the soil may
actually be favored by low-severity fires [22].

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Successional Status

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More info for the terms: climax, succession, tree

Highbush cranberry is moderately shade tolerant [6] and is important
throughout all stages of forest succession [46,61]. In floodplain
succession, highbush cranberry is present from the pioneer willow
through seral balsam poplar stages. It remains important in mature and
climax white spruce and black spruce-white spruce types [56].

Highbush cranberry sprouts following fire and is an important component
of early, midseral, and climax postfire communities [13,61]. The
following frequencies and densities were found in white spruce stands in
interior Alaska:

Stage Years after fire Frequency(%) Density(stems/acre)
_______________________________________________________________________
Newly burned 0-1 78 15,201 (37,562 st/ha)
Moss-herb 1-5 21 2,795 (6,906 st/ha)
Tall shrub-sapling 3-30 30 13,445 (33,222 st/ha)
Dense tree 26-45 36 3,713 (9,175 st/ha)
Hardwood 46-150 55 15,378 (38,000 st/ha)
Spruce 150-300+ 39 2,049 (5,062 st/ha)

Low successive peaks between the newly burned, tall shrub-sapling, and
hardwood stages may have been caused by stand differences or successful
establishment followed by opportunism [19].

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Regeneration Processes

More info for the terms: layering, natural, radicle, rhizome

Sexual reproduction: Highbush cranberry begins to produce fruits at
approximately 5 years of age, and then produces large quantities nearly
every year thereafter. The one-seeded fruits are dispersed by the birds
and mammals that consume them [6,22]. Germination is normally delayed
until the second growing season after ripening. The seeds exhibit seed
coat and embryo dormancy that requires a two-stage stratification to be
broken. Most successful germination takes place when a warm period is
followed by cold stratification [21,22,59]. The radicle emerges and
begins growth during the warm period, and the cold period breaks the
dormancy of the plumule, which then grows when temperatures become
warmer. The time period of these stages is critical but has not been
worked out in detail. Clean, air-dried seeds can be stored up to 10
years without losing viability. Highbush cranberry is a seed-banking
species [21,22].

Vegetative reproduction: Highbush cranberry can reproduce vegetatively
by natural layering and sprouting from damaged root stocks, stembases,
and stumps. The plant is rhizomatous, but there is no evidence of
lateral spread from the parent by rhizome or root suckers [22].

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Growth Form (according to Raunkiær Life-form classification)

More info on this topic.

More info for the terms: geophyte, phanerophyte

Phanerophyte (Microphanerophyte)
Phanerophyte (Nanophanerophyte)
Cryptophyte (Geophyte)

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Life Form

More info for the term: shrub

Shrub

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Fire Management Considerations

Prescribed fires of low-severity and short duration are recommended for
the management of highbush cranberry. Fires of this type favor the
germination of buried seeds and sprouting of vegetative structures
[6,22,47].

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Life History and Behavior

Cyclicity

Phenology

More info on this topic.

More info for the term: shrubs

Highbush cranberry flowers from May to August, depending on location.
Fruits ripen from August to October and persist throughout the winter
[18,22,58]. Leaf flush begins in April or May, and senescence and
abscission take place earlier than on associated shrubs [22].

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Viburnum edule

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Viburnum edule

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 6
Specimens with Barcodes: 8
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

National NatureServe Conservation Status

Canada

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: NNR - Unranked

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NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

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Highbush cranberry is considered rare (species or habitat vulnerable or
declining) in South Dakota [31]. It has also been placed on Maine's
official Watch List [8].

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Management

Management considerations

More info for the terms: cover, density, frequency, hardwood, natural, rhizome, shrubs, softwood

Highbush cranberry is not considered to be a primary competitor to
conifers but is a component of major brush complexes that occur on
moist, productive sites on floodplains or under deciduous canopies. It
can compete significantly with natural or planted white spruce seedlings
in the Sub-Boreal Spruce and Boreal White and Black Spruce (Picea
mariana) Zones, where it is most abundant [22].

Highbush cranberry has shown varying responses to overstory removal.
Near Prince George, British Columbia, highbush cranberry in white
spruce-subalpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) forests had not become a
significant component of the vegetation 6 years after clearcutting,
although it was present on all sites prior to the harvest [14]. In
Alberta, highbush cranberry had significantly lower cover in 6- to
12-year-old clearcut areas than in adjacent mature lodgepole pine
stands. In contrast, logging of a balsam poplar stand in Alaska caused
a dramatic increase in highbush cranberry density. It was one of the
dominant shrubs and reached 3.3 feet (1 m) in height within 4 years
[22]. In general, frequency and cover are expected to remain constant
or decrease slightly in the first few years after overstory removal.
Vigor may increase slowly on favorable sites [6].

Highbush cranberry is a seed-banking species, and soil disturbance
resulting from mechanical site preparation favors germination of stored
seed. The disturbance may also provide favorable seedbeds for freshly
deposited seed. Plants damaged in site preparation sprout from root
stocks and stem bases [6].

Highbush cranberry increased less in a winter-logged balsam poplar stand
than in one that had been summer-logged. Higher soil disturbance on the
summer-logged site may have stimulated sprouting. However,
scarification did not enhance cover of highbush cranberry in clearcut
areas near Edson, Alberta [22]. Highbush cranberry was also less
abundant on mechanically prepared sites than on unscalped sites in
interior Alaska. Frequency and cover of highbush cranberry 3 years
after clearcutting and shelterwood cutting of white spruce stands were
as follows [63]:

Clearcut Shelterwood
scalped unscalped scalped unscalped
_____________________________________________________
Frequency (%) 13.3 38.3 13.3 20.0
Cover (%) 1.8 5.2 1.7 3.2

Highbush cranberry can be propagated vegetatively by hardwood or
softwood cuttings, although softwood cuttings are far more successful at
producing roots. Softwood cuttings root sooner and more prolifically in
sand than in perlite. Rooting success greatly increases by treating
cuttings with IBA (Indole-3-butyric acid). Rhizome cuttings also
successfully produce roots when planted immediately after fall
collection [30].

Seeding may also be used for propagation of Viburnums. Seeds may be
broadcast sown on prepared seedbeds and mulched with sawdust or sown
with drills and mulched with straw. Seedlings may require shading,
depending on location. Fertile, moist soils which are neutral to
slightly acidic result in best germination [21].

Herbicides can be used to control highbush cranberry. Glyphosate
exhibits good control and causes moderately severe damage to the plant
[2,22]. Aerially spraying a young aspen-balsam poplar stand in June
resulted in 95 percent defoliation and heavy mortality of highbush
cranberry [22]. Roundup also causes defoliation and moderate mortality
rates [6]. Hexazinone does not appear to control highbush cranberry
effectively [2,6].

Highbush cranberry is utilized heavily in tent caterpillar outbreaks
[52]. Aphids, thrips, spider mites, and scale are also likely to occur
on Viburnums. A leaf spot (Ascochyta viburni) has been found on plants
along coastal British Columbia, and a rust (Puccinia linkii) has been
found on plants in northern British Columbia. Neither of these diseases
is considered serious [22].

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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Other uses and values

More info for the term: shrub

Highbush cranberries are edible and make excellent jams, jellies, and
sauces if picked before fully mature [29,32,58]. The berries were an
important food of Native Americans of the Bella Coola region of British
Columbia, where a single shrub may yield up to 100 berries [38]. The
plant is cultivated for its brilliant red autumnal foliage [58].

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Value for rehabilitation of disturbed sites

More info for the term: reclamation

The value of highbush cranberry for rehabilitative purposes has not been
well documented. It was studied for its use in oil sands reclamation,
but no results were detailed [17].

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Cover Value

More info for the term: cover

Viburnum species are important components of forest-edge and hedgerow
habitats that provide cover for small mammals and birds [21].

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Importance to Livestock and Wildlife

Highbush cranberries are consumed by many small mammals and songbirds
[22,58]. Game birds including spruce grouse and ruffed grouse also eat
the berries [15,34]. Foliage is browsed by beaver, rabbit, and snowshoe
hare [22].

Highbush cranberry is of low to moderate importance as browse to
Roosevelt elk, Rocky Mountain elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep,
black-tail deer, mule deer, white-tailed deer, and caribou [2,5]. The
foliage is also browsed by moose throughout the year [37,48].

Highbush cranberries are a major food of grizzly bears [3,23,40]. Black
bears consume highbush cranberries in late fall [27].

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Nutritional Value

Highbush cranberry's current annual stem and leaf growth collected in
July from Kenai Peninsula, Alaska, were analyzed for browse quality to
moose. In-vitro dry matter digestibility was 52.8 percent and protein
content was 10.3 percent. Concentrations of the following elements
were found [41]:
Macroelements (ppm)
Ca K Mg Na
___________________________________________
3,284 10,798 2,112 106

Microelements (ppm)
Cu Fe Mn Zn
___________________________________________
21.0 5.0 24.4 23.5

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Palatability

Viburnum foliage is low in palatability to livestock [55].

Pease [42] states that Viburnum foliage is highly unpalatable to snowshoe
hare, but others report it to be a preferred hare food in some areas [60].

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Wikipedia

Viburnum edule

Viburnum edule, the squashberry, mooseberry, pembina, pimbina, highbush cranberry, lowbush cranberry or moosomin in Cree language, is a small shrub species.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Common Names

highbush cranberry
squashberry
lowbush cranberry
mooseberry
few-flowered highbush cranberry

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Synonyms

Viburnum pauciflorum LaPylaie
Viburnum opulus var. edule Michx.
Viburnum acerifolium Bong.

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The currently accepted scientific name of highbush cranberry is Viburnum
edule (Michx.) Raf., in the family Caprifoliaceae [1,18,32,35,47].
There are no recognized subspecies, varieties, or forms.

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