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Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Viburnums in Early Spring

By far my most favorite shrub is the viburnum. I'm working on collecting as many as I can, either through propagation or buying them, to fill in areas around our gardens. If you don't have a viburnum in your garden you really should plant at least one or two. Some are fragrant, some are evergreen, and they are great for wildlife. The berries never last long when they appear in the late summer and early fall.

In the spring time the scent of our Burkwood viburnum 'Mohawk' (Viburnum x burkwoodii 'Mohawk') fills the air. With the perfect weather conditions the one flowering shrub will add its fragrance to the whole backyard.

It's not fragrant but the 'Shasta' viburnum (Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum 'Shasta') gets gorgeous blooms each spring. The green leaves look great through out the growing season and develop a nice burgundy color in the fall.  

Here are the flower buds for the 'Shasta' viburnum soon to be in bloom. 

The Arrowwood viburnum (Viburnum dentatum 'Morton') is later to emerge and only has leaf buds showing at this point - so no pictures today! Eventually you'll also get to see the Snowball viburnum in bloom. It's not blooming yet but soon though! It's a pretty good time of year, don't you think?

For more on Viburnums and how to propagate them check out these posts:

If you don't already own this book and would like to learn much more about all the different kinds of viburnums available I highly recommend Micheal Dirr's book Viburnums: Flowering Shrubs for Every Seasonit's a must have for your garden library if you like viburnums!


  1. I love Viburnums, too. You need to get a Rusty Blackhaw~They are beautiful~gail

  2. I'm a big fan of vibernum too! They are great cut flowers also.

  3. Viburnums are one of my favorites. I have Carlesi Compactum at this house, Arrowood up in Wisconson and have had many other varieties through the years.


  4. Yep, need to add a couple around here!

  5. I love love love the viburnums and have added several the last few years. Just got another one at the wildflower sale. I do have one blooming now-Emerald Triumph. The blackhaw is about to bloom too. They are so beautiful. I just hope I get berries this year.

  6. I love my 'Red Arrow' dentatums. I'm thinking of getting a third one. Awesome fall color--and I tend to have to hand pollinate them. But yup, those berries aren't ripe a day and they're gone.

  7. Dave,
    The two Shastas I ordered just arrived yesterday. I have read that they need part shade. I have a sunny spot though where they would look so perfect. Can they grow in full sun?

  8. I was also wondering if they can grow in full sun.

  9. Hi! I just planted my first two viburnum last year; a Korean Spice and a Autumn Jazz. Not a lot happened with them last year since they were just getting established. I know it is early early spring (I am zone 4) but I'm wondering what the viburnum should look like at this stage. I'm afraid they died over the winter. Do you have any pictures of viburnum before they have leaves or flowers? Thank you.

  10. Mr. Ghost Chili,

    Mine are all located in Full sun. Depending on how severe your summers are they may do fine.


    I wouldn't count them as dead yet! It's way early to be seeing much growth in your zone 4. TO give you an idea my arrowwood viburnum (which your Autumn Jazz is a cultivar) is only now budding and starting to put on leaf growth. The Korean Spice viburnum will probably begin to bug out first and it may not still happen for a another week or two depending on your weather. Just watch the buds!


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