Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) is developing its fruit right now. The berries will turn bright red later in the summer or in early fall. The fruit often stays on the shrub all winter and can be an important source of food for robins, eastern bluebirds, and other birds in late winter. In her book, “Naturally Curious,” Mary Holland writes that the bitter acidic fruits of highbush cranberry and the fuzzy staghorn sumac berries provide food of “last resort” for birds that overwinter in New England, after all the better-tasting berries have been eaten. This is a tall shrub that is not related to the commonly used cranberries that grow in a bog. They are edible if cooked, the seeds are removed, and sugar is added. One can make cranberry sauce, juice, or jelly.
(Submitted by Lynn Knight, August 15, 2019)