Guelder-rose
(Viburnum opulus)
Simple
Lobed
Opposite

leaf

Winter twig
Winter twig

leaves
Leaves

flowers
Flowers

fruits
Berries

distribution map

The leaves are opposite, 5-8 cm long with 3-5 irregularly toothed lobes. They are hairless above, but sparsely hairy below, on a stalk 10-25 mm long.

ID check

Guelder-rose is a spreading, much-branched deciduous shrub, up to 4 m high, with greyish, hairless stems. It is found in woods, scrub and hedges, especially on damp, lime-rich, soils.

The 5-petalled, fragrant flowers are arranged in dense clusters with large sterile white flowers on the outside and small, creamy-yellow fertile ones on the inside. They open in June and July.

The central flowers develop into clusters of drooping, juicy red berries in autumn, each with a single seed.

The leaves turn a vivid red or yellow in October and fall in early November.

Facts

  • 'Guelder' came from an unusual form of this decorative shrub which arose in the Dutch province of Guelderland.

  • The leaves, bark and berries are all POISONOUS to man, though the berries are edible when cooked.

  • The nectar is very attractive to hover-flies and the berries are popular with birds.

Return to Index Page