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Viburnum - landscaping-gardening


Viburnums are associated to the honeysuckles, so it be supposed to come as no amazement that many of them have scented flowers. But that's not all they have in their favour. No, this genus includes plants for all seasons and all reasons; foliage, flower, autumn colour, scent, groundcover, shrub or small tree, evergreen or deciduous, it's all there among the 120-odd species and the many hybrids and cultivars. Indeed, they're so alterable that it would be quite likely to have an appealing patch of viburnums alone.

Although viburnums can be found over much of the calm northern hemisphere and even South America, most of the conventional plants in our gardens, with the exceptions of the Laurustinus (Viburnum tinus) and the Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus), occur as expected in composed Asia or are derivative from the species of that area.

About the only drawback with viburnums is that as they are so flexible and easy to grow, they seem to have suffered from the 'familiarity breeds contempt' syndrome that sees conventional plants, conversely charismatic and useful, relegated to the lower divisions of the patch league in favour of amazing more 'exciting'. Well, don't fall into that trap - every plot needs at least one viburnum.


While the evident apportionment in the genus is connecting the evergreen and deciduous types, it's not quite that clear-cut. Some of the more common plants are hybrids connecting evergreen and deciduous species and are semi-evergreen. This can in point of fact be an help for the reason that they hold a sufficient amount flora to not look bare over iciness while also budding vivid autumn tones in the grass that fall. The very common Viburnum × burkwoodii is the best case of this behaviour.

The shrubbery varies, but is in most cases a barbed abstruse shape and greatly veined. Some of the deciduous species, such as Viburnum opulus and Viburnum dentata, have lobed, fairly maple-leaf-like foliage. Spotted shrubbery is not common, but where it does occur, the patterns and colours can be striking. The dappled form of Viburnum tinus is very popular.


Viburnum plants are near constantly white or pale pink, but contained by that narrow colour range is found a huge assortment of blooms. Though the being plant life are small, they're massed in heads that in some types are very large indeed. Most often the flora are all fertile, but some species have hydrangea-like flower heads in which small clusters of bountiful flora are surrounded by large sterile ray florets. Cultivars have been raised with flowerheads completely poised of sterile flowers. A sterile Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus 'Roseum' [syn. 'Sterile']) in full flower often droops under the credence of its huge flower heads.

Although bounce is the main high point season, many of the most scented viburnums start to bloom in winter, or even late autumn. For the reason that their plant life aren't brightly coloured and insects are fewer in winter, they apparently use scent as a means to catch the attention of from a bigger detachment those pollinators that are around. Some, such as Viburnum × burkwoodii are hardly ever not including a few flowers.


In all cases, aside from for the sterile cultivars, the vegetation are followed by berry-like drupes. While customarily interestingly coloured, the drupes aren't continually show, although when they are, they can be a real feature. The steel-blue fruits of Viburnum davidii are very distinctive and the black drupes of Viburnum grandiflorum are above all large, but my favourite is the so-called High-bush Claret (Viburnum trilobum), which covers itself with clear red fruit in late summer and autumn. It seems that just about any plant with showy red berries gets called a cranberry, but even though the fruit is cooked and can be used as a proxy for cranberry, it isn't the real thing. For the record, the real cranberry, the one of jelly fame, is Vaccinium macrocarpon, a plant more carefully connected to rhododendrons than viburnums.


There isn't much to say here; viburnums are easy. But for all but a few in the very coldest of New Zealand gardens, power of endurance isn't a problem; they're not fussy about soil type; most will grow effortlessly well in sun or part shade and some will grow in very dark corners. Good drainage helps but they will tolerate soil that's damp for a while.

Success with viburnums is not so much a be relevant of being paid them to grow but directing and administration the development they make. While viburnums are plants with an in-built resistance to conventional shaping, try to ascertain a good framework of main kindling when the plants are young or they may acquire into a mass confused twigs considerably than neat bushes.

As soon as feasible after flowering, thin out any congested or weak stems and shorten back the main branches. There's nobody dense here, it's just be of importance of hire more light and air into the centre of the bush and directing the plant's energy into productive wood considerably than spindly growth. If this is done for the first five years or so, you ought to have well-shaped, heavy peak plants.

What's available

There are many viburnums out there but backyard centres tend to be fairly characterless in their selection, sticking appealing much to the tried and true. However, beleaguer your local patch centre a sufficient amount and they be supposed to be able to get hold of any of the following.

Viburnum bitchiuense

Found in southern Japan and Korea, this 3m tall deciduous shrub is charming in its own right while also being a blood relation of numerous alluring hybrids. It has large, brilliantly perfumed pink plant life that fade to white. They open in bound and are followed by black drupes.

Viburnum × bodnantense (Viburnum farreri × Viburnum grandiflorum)

A cross concerning two Chinese deciduous species, this 2. 5m tall bush has rounded cheerful green foliage and small clusters of white plants with a faint pink tint. The flora are very perfumed and arrive on the scene from late chill to early spring, very fragrant.

Viburnum × burkwoodii (Viburnum carlesii × Viburnum utile)

Viburnum carlesii is deciduous and Viburnum utile is evergreen, so in the apparition of compromise, their 3m tall offspring is semi-evergreen. Its rounded, brilliant green trees have greyish undersides and in autumn those that fall advance intense yellow, red and red tones already dropping. In mild areas the vegetation open from late winter, in a different place they arrive on the scene in spring. They are white, cavity from pink buds and are agreed in ball-shaped clusters in spring. Their cologne can scent the entirety of a small garden. A number of cultivars are grown, of which the compact 'Anne Russell' is almost certainly the most popular.

Viburnum × carlcephalum (Viburnum carlesii × Viburnum macrocephalum forma keteleeri)

Sometimes called the Korean Spice Viburnum, this deciduous crossbreed grows to about 2. 5m tall and its plants especially do have a spicy fragrance. They open in spring, the first blooms being pink while the later vegetation tend towards white-flushed-pink. The flower heads are up to 15cm diagonally and complement the large, fairly glossy leaves.

Viburnum carlesii

At first sight this native of Korea and Japan resembles the more customary Viburnum × burkwoodii, which is not amazing as it one of that hybrid's parents. However, it is fully deciduous and a more compact plant, infrequently exceeding 1. 8m tall. Its flowers, in ball-shaped clusters, pink in bud break to white in spring, are very fragrant. There are quite a few cultivars of which 'Aurora' (flowers in a range of shades of red pink and white) and 'Cayuga' (orange autumn foliage) are the most popular. Others, such as the extensively grown 'Chesapeake' are hybrids with Viburnum utile.

Viburnum davidii

While able of budding to 1. 5m tall, this western Chinese evergreen species is more generally seen as a mounding groundcover. It has cheerful mid green, glossy, a great deal marbled hard to chew plants up to 15cm long that overlap to form a dense plant life cover. Small clusters of white vegetation open from late coldness to mid-spring and are followed by steel blue drupes.

Viburnum dentatum

Known as Arrowwood since of its use for that aim by native Americans, this large deciduous shrub or small tree has instead dreary greenish white flora and is often considerably an untidy grower. However, this eastern North American species comes into its own in autumn as the black drupes ripen and the flora develops vivid red tones.

Viburnum erubescens

This early summer-flowering, deciduous or semi-evergreen shrub is native to the Himalayas and found in colossal areas as far south as Sri Lanka. The flora are white flushed with pale pink and are followed by red fruits that blacken when ripe.

Viburnum farreri

Although less communal than the hybrids raised from it, this 3m tall, northern Chinese, deciduous species is well worth developing for its very perfumed pink-tinted white plants that open from mid-winter. If pollinated the plants build into red fruit that blackens when ripe.

Viburnum japonica

Like V. davidii, this evergreen shrub is most often seen used as a large-scale groundcover, despite the fact that it's able of developing well over 1m tall. A native of Japan, it has deep green, glossy trees and bust new growth. Loose clusters of white plant life in late bounce are followed by red drupes. Common decoration after acme will keep it compact.

Viburnum lantana

The Wayfaring Tree, a species extensive in Eurasia, is a deciduous, from time to time tree-like shrub with heads of fairly dull creamy-white plants in spring. It is grown more for its fruit, which is red ageing to black, and its foliage. The trees are alluring at all stages, initial out deep green and velvety, aging to dark green fine hairs glaze their undersides, then budding gold and chocolate tones in autumn beforehand falling.

Viburnum opulus

Found from Europe and North Africa to Essential Asia, the Guelder Rose is a large deciduous shrub with mid green, genuinely lobed, maple-like foliage that flush in autumn. Rounded heads of white plant life in bound are followed in late summer by red fruit. The bark contains a glucoside, viburnine, that has uses in herbal medicine, above all in the be in command of of spasms and cramps. 'Roseum' (syn. 'Sterile') is a cultivar with large heads of all-sterile flowers. It is known as the grow quickly tree since of the size and colour of its flowerheads and is far more broadly grown than the species.

Viburnum plicatum

From China and Japan, this deciduous shrub grows to about 3m tall and has rounded, mid green, hazel-like foliage with ragged edges. Firmed clusters of white vegetation in open in bound and may be followed by red fruit that blackens when ripe. The tiered undergrowth are tiered make this species very distinctive and are a appear that is acutely evident in the cultivar 'Mariesii'. 'Rosacea' is a cultivar with figure young flora and pink-tinted, all-sterile plants in large heads.

Viburnum rhytidophyllum

While this late spring- and summer-flowering Chinese species has logically appealing heads of creamy-white blooms, it's especially a flora plant. The foliage are up to 20cm long and very brutally textured. The upper surfaces are to some extent glossy and the undersurfaces are broadly layered in a grey to tan felt. 'Variegatum' is a cultivar with gold-splashed foliage. If the vegetation appeal you, look for 'Roseum', which has reddish pink red blooms.

Viburnum tinus

Once one of the most accepted equivocation plants, even if not so customary now, the Laurustinus is a 3m tall, evergreen shrub from southern Europe and North Africa. It has leathery, bark olive green and in late chill and bound puts on a good exhibit white plant life that often acquire pink tints. Multicolored plant life cultivars often have brighter pink flowers.

Viburnum trilobum

As described earlier, the High-bush Deep red is a 2. 5m tall, deciduous North American shrub. It has lobed, maple-like trees that often turn clear red in autumn. Flat heads of white plants open in bound and large clusters of very cheerful red berries in late summer to autumn. It is one of the best hardy undergrowth for colour and capacity of fruit.


A barely searching, above all all the way through mail order catalogues, will yield quite a few more species, hybrids and cultivars. Or you could try propagating your own. The species may be raised from seed, which is as a rule best stratified, but hybrids and cultivars must be propagated vegetatively, most regularly by semi-ripe cuttings.

I am a backyard book creator and horticultural photographer based in Christchurch, New Zealand. I run a stock photo documents called Country, Farm and Backyard (http://www. cfgphoto. com). This commentary may be re-published provided this in a row is in print with it and is obviously visible.


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