Often used as hedges, viburnum (Viburnum) is a large and diverse group of plants that may be shrubs or trees, sometimes with fragrant flowers. These plants also produce fruit, though it is not edible. Viburnum are usually used for their thick foliage, though some varieties flower in winter. In general, these plants thrive in acidic soil, with regular water and full sun to part shade, depending on the variety. Viburnum may be deciduous in cooler climates and evergreen in cooler climates.
Native as far north as Minnesota and as far South as Georgia, arrowwood viburnum (V. dentatum) grows to 10 feet and may spread up to 10 feet. This variety has dark green foliage that is up to 4 inches long and ages to yellow, red or orange in fall. Arrowwood viburnum also produces cream-colored flowers in late spring that give way to inedible blue-black berries. This variety of viburnum is often used a hedge or windbreak and is suitable for nearly any climate, as it can tolerate heat, cold or wet soil. It should not be planted in arid climates.
European Cranberry Bush
The European cranberry bush (V. opulus) is very cold-hardy variety that will grow to 15 feet tall and has foliage that resembles maple leaves. The leaves are dark green in color and up to 4 inches long, lobed and are usually wider than they are long. Foliage will age to yellow, red or red-purple in fall, and the European cranberry bush produces cream-colored clusters of blooms in early spring before giving way to small, red berries. This variety can withstand soggy soil, but is susceptible to aphids.
One of the showiest varieties, the doublelife viburnum (V. plicatum tomentosum) produces clusters of white flowers in mid-spring. There are two types of blooms on the plant, clusters of small fertile flowers surrounded by clusters of sterile flowers, which provide a lace-cap effect. The blooms are followed by red berries that age to black. This variety can be planted in most climates, except the coldest or most arid. Among the cultivars are "Pink Beauty," which has light pink flowers that age to white and "Summer Snowflake," which blooms from spring to fall.