Viburnum opulus | Guelder-rose | Coar chon



Native status


Species Biology


  • Flowers from June to July
  • Deciduous shrub with dense, flat-topped clusters of fragrant, creamy flowers 
  • On the outer edges of these clusters, there is a circle of 5-petalled flowers (15-20mm across) which are sterile. They surround a disc of smaller, 5-petalled flowers (4-7mm across) which are fertile. 
  • Leaves are palmately lobed and irregularly toothed and turn red in late autumn
  • The red fruit is poisonous 


Woodland, scrub and hedgerows, favouring damp non-acidic soils


World distribution(GBIF)

Irish distribution

Occasional country-wide, but avoids coastal areas

Temporal change

Records submitted to Data Centre in 2021

The following map is interactive. If you would prefer to view it full screen then click here.

How can you help

This species is included in our early summer flowering plants project. If you see the species please submit your sighting. All information is very valuable.

Full list of species included in the early summer flowering plants project:

  1. Ragged Robin (Silene flos-cuculi)
  2. Yellow Rattle (Rhinanthus minor)
  3. Bog Asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum)
  4. Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
  5. Pyramidal orchid (Anacamptis pyramidalis)
  6. Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis)
  7. Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
  8. Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus)
  9. Navelwort (Umbilicus rupestris)
  10. Maidenhair Spleenwort (Asplenium trichomanes)
  11. Silverweed (Potentilla anserine)
  12. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

Further information

This species is included in the early summer flowering plants project which is a collaboration between the National Biodiversity Data Centre and the BSBI. It is hoped we can collect valuable data to improve our knowledge of the current distribution of some common plants. All data will be fully validated by both partners before loading to Biodiversity Maps and being made available to the BSBI.