Latin Name: Viburnum opulus
Plant Family: Adoxaceae
Other Names: Cramp Bark, Guelder Rose, King's Crown, High Cranberry, Red Elder, Rose Elder, May Rose, Whitsun Rose, Whitsun Bosses, Gaitre Berries, Kalyna, Water Elder, European Cranberrybush, Snowball Tree, Whitten Tree, Squaw Bush and Pimbina
Description: This deciduous shrub is a native of Europe and North America; it grows to a height of 4–5 metres. The leaves are between 5-10 cm in length, they are a mid-green colour, opposite, 3-lobed and smooth on the upper surface. The flowers are hermaphrodite, white and form ‘balls’ - hence one of cramp bark’s folk names the Snowball tree - the flower balls can be 4–11 cm diameter and occur at the top of the stems. The berries form bright red drupes approximately 7–10 mm in diameter each berry contains a single seed.
Brief History: In the Victorian language of flowers, cramp bark is referred to by its common name of guelder rose and is used to symbolise winter. In the Ukraine, cramp bark is known by the name Kalyna and is a national symbol of the country. According to a legend Kalyna was associated with the birth of the Universe, the so-called Fire Trinity: the Sun, the Moon, and the Star.
SUGGESTED USEThe berries of cramp bark contain pigments that can be used to make a red dye, early Native Americans used them to make ink. The berries can also be cooked and used as a substitute for cranberries.
Shelf life of two years provided that goods are stored in an airtight container in ambient conditions.
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