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Best Viburnum for Eating?

master steward
Posts: 14668
Location: Pacific Northwest
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I was wondering which is the best (tastiest, easiest to harvest, higher fruit to seed ratio) of the viburnums. I'm looking at Oikos' website, since I'm planning on ordering paw paws from them, and I see quite a few varieties:

High Bush Cranberry (Viburnum opulu/trilobum): Does this actually taste like cranberries? Does it have a giant seed that makes it hard to process?

Nanny Berry (Viburnum lentago) and Manchurian Viburnum (Viburnum burjaecticum) and Northern Wild Raisin (Viburnum edulis)are all said to taste like raisins/dates/prunes. Does anyone know which is the yummiest and/or which has the most flash per seed?

I don't pay for a plant, wait 4-6 years for it to bear fruit...and then find this giant bush has berries that aren't worth harvesting, and it's taking up valuable garden "real estate."

Thank you!

Posts: 489
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
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Two year old post with no replies.

Last year I planted 2 high bush cranberries (probably raised in Quebec, I am in NE BC Canada).  I mentioned this to a neighbour who has hiked enough in the local forest, to know what is growing here.  He wondered why I would bring in high bush cranberries from Quebec.  I gather this means they already grow here.

If these 2 high bush cranberries from Quebec can benefit from many other pollen sources from NE BC, I think this is a good thing.  If so, that means that at some point these benefits will diffuse outwards (when birds eat berries and poop them elsewhere).

Neither question answers the what do the Oikos products taste like.

I have been planting Oikos things.  In particular, I just set out some Oikos Wild Raisin seeds into pots, and hopefully at some point they grow.  They probably need a winter before they germinate, but they are planted in a cold frame and I will see next spring.  Maybe.

I have various vibernums on the property.  Most are things where I have no idea as to what they are.  And so, I have seldom found the need to explore them.  It was someone else's decision 40 years ago, and there is no documentation.

Last year, I tried 2 or 3 times to taste a persimmon.  And every time, my persimmon was confused with a tomato, and ended up in a salad.  And the salads all tasted fine (by me and others who didn't know of the mix up).  So, one of my swale projects  is to try and set things up so that I have 2 "tomato" trees on the property.  I have Oikos seed for that.  I have paw paw seeds here from them as well.

Gordon Haverland
Posts: 489
Location: Dawson Creek, BC, Canada
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Addendum: Nothing to do with Vibernums - But has to do with Oikos

Some thread on Permies.com says that you can grow squash in a hay pasture.  So, I am trying it.  Using a mattock, I removed patches of sod of about 4 square feet, and laid them upside down next to the excavation.  I then put a litre or so of "soil" on top of the clay soil of my farm, and planted squash near the 4 corners of each "square" plot.  The season is still early for me as I am so far north, but I have 3 (out of 28) locations showing a squash (or pair of squash, there were 2 seeds per location) and a second location in a single plot seemed to be starting.

Squash needs water to make these big watery fruits, and all of the locations I excavated are in places which tend to collect water or stay wet longer after a rainfall.  At some point, I may have to lay slabs of wood next to the excavations to keep fescue close to the squash from growing.

From Oikos, I have Cornus kousa 'Satomi' (an Asian dogwood).  I have dogwoods on the farm (not planted, all spontaneous, probably due to some bird or ungulate of the bambi family).  I  never tried to inventory them, but I wouldn't be surprised if they all have a berry.  Satomi has a different fruit.

The instructions seem to be that it needs to be planted 2 inches deep (unusual for a small seed), and it needs to see cold (it will see winter in a few months).  So, I am going to plant all 7 of my squash excavations with one of these dogwood seeds in the centre, and seed what happens next spring.  And I will try to plant some dogwood seeds just by driving an object (12 inch spike is likely) into the sod in places.

I suppose white tail and mule deer eat dogwood, but what really seems to like dogwood is bullwinkle (moose).  And they all come here to eat at the moment.

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