Plant Data Sheet


* Marble Canyon, Kootenay National Park, B.C., Canada 9/13/02 Marlo Mytty



Squashberry/Highbush cranberry, Viburnum edule (Michx.) Raf.



Commmon throughout nothern North America. Throughout Alaska and across Canada to Newfoundland. Occurs south through New England, Great Lake states, and the Pacific Northwest. Populations also found in Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Wyoming, and Colorado.


Climate, elevation

Mostly low to middle elevations. In B.C. from sea-level to 4900 ft.; but in Colorado 7000-9000 ft. Southern extent limited by high temperatures and low humidity. Restricted to wetter moisture regimes in dry climates.


Local occurrence (where, how common)

Moist woods or forests, forest edges, thickets, gravel or rocky banks and slopes , river bottomlands and terraces, lakes, streambanks, shorelines, and margins of wetlands, swamps, or bogs.


Habitat preferences

Moist, well-drained alluvial soils, sun (but mostly shade tolerant).


Plant strategy type/successional stage (stress-tolerator, competitor, weedy/colonizer, seral, late successional)

Important through all stages of succession. Important component of early, mid-seral, and climax postfire communities. Seed-banking species. Soil disturbance generally favors germination of stored seed. Root and stem sprouts after damage.


Associated species

White spuce, black spruce, paper birch, balsam poplar, quaking aspen, willows, alders, raspberries, currants, prickly rose (Rosa acicularis), ligonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea)


May be collected as: (seed, layered, divisions, etc.)

Cuttings or seeds. Can reproduce by natural layering.


Collection restrictions or guidelines

Restrictions: Rare in South Dakota and on official watch list in Maine. Threatened in Michigan, New York, and Vermont. Endangered in Wisconsin.


Guidelines: Cuttings: collect mid-June or later after flowering. Seeds: collect mature fruits when they turn red. Fruits ripen August-October. Seeds are brown at maturity.


Seed germination (needs dormancy breaking?)

Most have embryo dormancy and some impermeable seedcoats. Requires 2-stage stratification to be broken. 3-5 months of warm moist stratification at 22 C followed by 3 months of cold moist stratification at 5 C.


Seed life (can be stored, short shelf-life, long shelf-life)

Last up to 10 years.


Recommended seed storage conditions

Clean, air-dried seeds in sealed containers at 1-3 C for long-term storage.


Propagation recommendations (plant seeds, vegetative parts, cuttings, etc.)

Vegetatively by cuttings softwood best. Rhizome or hardwood cuttings also work. Cuttings 20 cm long and .5 cm in caliper. Rooting greatly increased by treating cuttings with IBA (Indole-3-butyric acid). Harden outside over winter, under insulating foam cover and snow. Seeding may be used. Either broadcast on prepared seedbeds and mulch with sawdust or sow with drills and mulch with straw. Fertile, moist neutral-slightly acidic soils for germination. Seedlings and cuttings may require shading depending on location


Soil or medium requirements (inoculum necessary?)

Moist soils preferred. For cuttings, sand is good rooting medium.


Installation form (form, potential for successful outcomes, cost)

Seeds or seedlings from seeds or rooted cuttings.


Recommended planting density

No information


Care requirements after installed (water weekly, water once etc.)

Moist soils.


Normal rate of growth or spread; lifespan

Plant first produces fruits at 5 years of age, then in large quantities. Germination is normally delayed until 2nd growing season after ripening. No information about lifespan except perennial plant.


Sources cited

Luna, Tara. 2001. Propagation protocol for vegetative production of container Viburnum edule (Michx.) Raf. plants (800 ml containers); Glacier National Park, West Glacier, Montana. In: Native Plant Network. URL: (accessed 16 April 2003). Moscow (ID):University of Idaho, College of Natural Resources, Forest Research Nursery. 
Matthews, Robin F. 1992. Viburnum edule. In: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (2003, March). Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. Available: [April 16, 2003]. 


Pojar, J. and A. MacKinnon. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, and Alaska. Lone Pine Publishing, Vancouver, B.C. 526 p.


Spurr, Joy. 1978. Wild Shrubs Finding and Growing Your Own. Pacific Search Press, Seattle, Washington, 95p.


USDA, NRCS. 2002. The PLANTS Database, version 3.5 ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.


Data compiled by: Marlo Mytty, April 16, 2003