The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › highbush cranberry- viburnum trilobum

highbush cranberry- viburnum trilobum

Jesse S.
user 29709632
Harrison, ME
Post #: 88
Here's some nice info on a favorite shrub:
http://www.eattheweed...­
http://www.uaf.edu/fi...­
Our home has quite a few large mature specimens around...as well loads of volunteers in the more feral parts of our field. I've appreciated it for looks(bright red fruit and foliage), the pollinators go bananas when it's in bloom in late spring, and as winter bird and wildlife forage. This is the first time I've tried processing the fruit, which looses quite a bit of it's musty quality once heated and sweetened. So far I've made sauce- 6:1 fruit:sugar. Next up will be jelly, fruit leather, perhaps a wine?
Couple good wine recipes:
http://winemaking.jac...­
http://www.kevinkosso...­
I like that the high acidity of the fruit makes for a natural preservative: less need to add sulfites to wine, longer keeping sauce and jam when not hot processing in water bath. I was surprised to read that it's antioxidant content is several times that of wild blueberry. Maybe next spring I'll try taking some of the bark for medicinal use(another name for the plant is 'Crampbark), as I learned from Deb Soule at Avena Botanicals. Growing-wise, it is low maintenance native plant that does well in semi-shade and pests don't bother it- a good candidate for orchard guild, forest garden or medicinal/edible hedgerow.
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 962
Recently some taxonomists have suggested that V. opulus and V. trilobum are the same thing. I certainly don't believe that but there is a lot of confusion. I have noticed that Fedco is selling some very questionable examples. Although some have cited glands on the petiole as an identification factor, I don't think it is true. V. opulus allegedly has 2 glands on the petiole and V. trilobum does not. Having seen as many as 7 glands on a "V. trilobum" and examined many leaves, it seems unreliable. Very subtle differences in leaf shape and the nature of the flowering and fruiting are telling. Beyond that, the flavor of the berries is quite different. V. opulus is very astringent and kind of nasty. V. trilobum is very sour but edible if you are tough. It certainly needs processing. Jesse, you should swing by the house some time and we can visit my neighbor who has one growing right next to the other. You couldn't get a better comparison.

Actually "crampbark" is V. opulus.

David Spahr
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 963
While we are on the subject of Viburnums, I will suggest that the common and native V. lentago (nannyberry) and V. nudum var. cassinoides (witherod/possumhaw) would be better uses of garden space with absolutely delicious fruit right off the bush. Jesse, I could hook you up with a wild V. nudum from out back.....

Also, I should note here that V. trilobum and V. opulus are the biggest attractors of Viburnum beetle that you could plant. I have some Viburnums here that were incorrectly IDed that I am thinking of ripping out including "cranberry viburnums". I certainly wish I had V. lentago in those places.......

David Spahr
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 964
OK, I guess I'm ranting now but Viburnums are a prime example of what can be very wrong with cultivars. Remember, cultivars are "selections" and hybrids. Breeders have invested a lot in hybridizing with non natives and "selecting" for flowers. I'm thinking the dudes got an ice cream cone stuck to their foreheads. Apparently none of them ever tasted the fruit or decided that "selecting" for fruit was a good idea! Duh! Epic fail.

David Spahr
Jesse S.
user 29709632
Harrison, ME
Post #: 89
Thanks for your input on the various viburnums, David. I do agree that nannyberries are certainly better eating off the bush. The trilobum(or opulus?) bushes around my yard seem naturalized, and came with the property. I've noticed some variation between them in terms of ripening time, and berry size. I sure wouldn't want to make a meal out of them raw- they are quite acidic, a little astringent and have a 'mustiness' to the flavor. When I cook them, it smells like socks! Cooking seems to reduce that flavor component, and after putting them through a food mill and with a bit of sugar they make a tasty sauce with some real zip. Now I'm working on a batch of wine using them as a base; apparently they are one of the best fruits for wine after grapes. These bushes can yield pretty well too, I think there must have been around 50lb on one bush. I'm leaving quite a few bunches for the birds this winter-important winter food source. Funniest thing was a turkey landing in one bush a few years back- she bent it double and had to do some real gymnastics to peck away at the fruit. I like the timing of the ripening, as many of my berries have gone by, except the elders which are coming on strong.
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 966
Anyway the discussion motivated me and I was able to photograph 4 species of Viburnum yesterday while looking for elderberries. Right off the bush the V. nudum var. cassinoides were very good but smaller than the nannyberries. Jesse, I may post a few images on Facebook and tag you.

David
David S.
stereoview
Washington, ME
Post #: 967
Jesse,
I thought you were on Faceboo but I see you aren't.
Powered by mvnForum

Our Sponsors

Sign up

Meetup members, Log in

By clicking "Sign up" or "Sign up using Facebook", you confirm that you accept our Terms of Service & Privacy Policy