Information on Guelder-rose

Common Name: Guelder-rose
Scientific Name: Viburnum opulus
Irish Name: Caor chon
Family Group: Caprifoliaceae
Distribution: View Map (Courtesy of the BSBI)
Flowering Period


Click for list of all flowering by month
Guelder-rose is not easily confused with other wild plants on this web site.


Not a rose but a beautiful deciduous shrub, Guelder-rose grows by lakes, in hedgerows and in thickets, sometimes reaching as high as 4 metres.  In June and July it displays truly stunning, dense, flat-topped clusters of fragrant, creamy flowers.  On the outer edges of these heads, there is a circle of 5-petalled flowers (15-20mm across) which have neither stamens nor pistils and are therefore sterile, and these surround a disc of smaller, 5-petalled flowers (4-7mm across) which are fertile.  These are pollinated by insects.  The leaves of this shrub are palmately lobed and irregularly toothed and turn red in late autumn.  At that time the tree bears juicy shiny red berries which contain one seed.  This is a native plant and it belongs to the Caprifoliaceae family. 

I first found this shrub close to Lough Bunny, Co Clare in 2005 and photographed it in Tullycanna in 2009. 

If you are satisfied you have correctly identified this plant, please submit your sighting to the National Biodiversity Data Centre

Guelder-rose
Guelder-rose

The name 'Guelder' is thought to have come from a form of this plant which is found in Guelderland, a province of the Netherlands.