Guelder-rose ©Karen Lloyd


Scientific name: Viburnum opulus
The guelder-rose is a small tree of hedgerows, woods, scrub and wetlands. It displays large, white flowers in summer and red berries in autumn, which feed all kinds of birds, including Bullfinches.

Species information


Height: up to 4m

Conservation status


When to see

January to December


The guelder-rose is a small tree of woodland edges, hedgerows, grassland scrub, fens and riversides, and is frequently planted along roadsides or in gardens and parks. The large, white flowers appear in June and July and are followed by clusters of red berries, which are an important food source for birds, such as bullfinches and mistle thrushes. Its broad, lobed leaves are very recognisable when they turn brilliant red in the autumn.

How to identify

The guelder-rose has broad, lobed leaves that turn red in the autumn. It displays umbels (umbrella-like clusters) of large, china-white flowers in summer, and red berries in autumn.



Did you know?

In the winter, guelder-rose berries are a favourite food of Waxwings visiting the UK from Northern Europe. These attractive, pink-and-grey birds can be spotted in flocks on bushes full of berries, often in towns, car parks and gardens.