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Contact information
For information on Wisconsin's rare plants, contact:
Kevin Doyle
608-416-3377

Squashberry (Viburnum edule)

Life history

Species overview

Squashberry (Viburnum edule), a Wisconsin Endangered plant, is found on moist, quartzite, talus slopes in the Blue Hills, where cold air from within the slope maintains boreal conditions at the surface. Blooming occurs early May through late July; fruiting occurs throughout September. The optimal identification period for this species is throughout September.

Synonyms: Viburnum pauciflorum

Identification

  • Distinguishing characteristics: Leaves have long, soft, straight hairs on the veins beneath; fruit red; filaments up to 1 mm
  • Flower characteristics: Inflorescence 1 to 2.5 cm wide, with less than 50 flowers; flowers white, bisexual, mostly 5-petaled with short peduncle; stamens attached to corolla tube.
  • Fruit characteristics: Drupe red, 1-1.5 cm; stone flattened, not grooved.
  • Leaf characteristics: Palmately veined, shallowly 3-lobed, 5 to 10 cm, sharply serrate, basally rounded to subcordate, occasionally lobeless and pinnately veined.

Phenology

  • Blooming phenology: early May through late July
  • Fruiting phenology: throughout September
  • Optimum time to identify: throughout September

Other

  • Growth form: Shrub
  • Vegetative reproduction:
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Comments: Associated Species: Viburnum rafinesquianum, Acer spicatum, Ribes glandulosum, R. oxyacanthoides, R. triste.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Squashberry (Viburnum edule). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.

Documented locations of Viburnum edule in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of July 2015.


Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS2
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found on moist, quartzite, talus slopes in the Blue Hills, where cold air from within the slope maintains boreal conditions at the surface.
  • Soils: Rocky soils.

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Squashberry. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Natural communities score
Glaciere Talus (Felsenmeer) 3

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Squashberry. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Squashberry (Viburnum edule) has very few known occurrences in the state and is of the highest priority for conservation; we encourage you to consult with your District Ecologist or NHI Botanist for specific recommendations for your site.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • Avoid disturbance near the base of talus slopes where cold air drains.
  • Avoid locating landings, staging areas, or access routes on or near known populations.
  • Avoid direct disturbance to sensitive microsites such as seeps, cliffs, and moss-covered boulders.
  • Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.
  • Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • Buffer management around unique microhabitats such as ephemeral ponds, seeps, etc.

Photos


Squashberry  Photo.

Viburnum edule growing under red pine, Barron County.

Photo © Emmet Judziewicz.

Squashberry  Photo.

Photo © D. Vincent.

Squashberry  Photo.

Photo © William S. Alverson.

Squashberry  Photo.

Photo by  staff, Wisconsin DNR.

Squashberry  Photo.

Photo © William S. Alverson.

Squashberry  Photo.

Photo © Kitty Kohout.

Squashberry  Photo.

Photo © William S. Alverson.

Squashberry  Photo.

Photo © D. Vincent.


Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Monday, April 30, 2018
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