Familiar in our hedgerows the Guelder rose is not a rose but a member of the Viburnum family. Still decorative though with umbels of white flowers in the spring and the bright red berries in the autumn that are lush and shine out gloriously. The plant is closely related to the Highbush Cranberry though a little taller reaching 3-4m in time but perfect for a hedge as it responds well to regular trimming.
Although the sweetness of the fruits can vary from bush to bush they have been widely used as a Cranberry substitute over the years as they share that same slight bitterness, V. opulus being more likely to be on the bitter side than V. trilobum. Either way and they will hang on the bushes into November and are improved by a little frost, and certainly provide a meal for grateful birds.
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